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Ohio’s Problem Gambling Helpline, “A Glimmer of Light at the End of the Tunnel”

For Marilyn, her problem with gambling started in 2013 when her husband was sick and in the hospital. 

“I was only allowed to be with him for an hour a day, and that left a lot of time on my hands,” said Marilyn. “I was at a casino all night, every night. I thought I was doing something to comfort myself, but I opened up a very bad world.”

The world Marilyn entered? The world of a problem with gambling – a common mental health disorder that can quickly take over a person’s life. For Marilyn, her problem with gambling continued to grow until it became noticeable to her family. Ultimately, she was told that she couldn’t see her granddaughter until she stopped. She decided to make the call to get help.

“I was assigned a trained specialist [who] dealt in gambling,” said Marilyn. “He shared his story with me. And that was my first glimmer of light at the end of my tunnel.”

Now, Marilyn is seven years into her recovery journey and said she would get treatment “over and over again” if she could. 

That’s why she’s encouraging Ohioans to “Make The Call” to the Problem Gambling Helpline in a recently launched testimonial video. The new 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.

“For anybody that was struggling… there is hope for you,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, the helpline is there for you. Don’t give up.” 

Hear Marilyn’s story by watching this short video below: 

For more resources and information on problem gambling, you can visit BeforeYouBet.org. There, you can take the two-minute quiz to see if you’re at-risk for problem gambling and find free resources for responsible gambling. 

And remember that help is always available by calling 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.  

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