For Josh McClellan, gambling went from a casual activity to a vicious cycle that he couldn’t seem to stop.
“You gamble, you go home, you’re depressed for a month. Then you get another paycheck.” That would kick the cycle into full gear again. “I got to a point where I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Josh, a three-tour United States Army veteran, started gambling after he decided to stop drinking. But what started as a coping mechanism quickly became a new problem.
“I started stealing things and hiding things from friends and family. I would isolate myself and stay in bed for days at a time,” he said. “I knew I needed help.”
Once he told his VA counselor about what was going on, he was given the number to the Problem Gambling Helpline, where he was connected to a trained problem gambling specialist who listened with no judgment or strings attached.
Now five years into his recovery journey, Josh is encouraging Ohioans to “Make The Call” to the Problem Gambling Helpline in a recently launched testimonial video. The video is part of the new Problem Gambling Helpline campaign, which includes a PSA video, a toolkit of educational resources, and more.
The campaign is helping to increase awareness of the Problem Gambling Helpline to the public. In addition, the resources connect at-risk individuals and others who may be concerned about someone they love to the support they may need before they reach a point of crisis.
“The biggest thing in recovery is to just know someone cares,” said Josh. And with the Problem Gambling Helpline, “There’s always someone that cares.”
Hear Josh’s full story by watching this short video below:
For free resources and information on problem gambling, visit BeforeYouBet.org. There, you can take the two-minute quiz to gauge your risk for problem gambling and find tips for responsible gambling.
And remember that help is always available by calling or chatting with the free Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 741741. If you are starting to have questions about your gambling habits or those of someone you care about, make the call today.