Gambling addiction can affect anyone from virtually any walk of life for a number of reasons. It comes in many shapes and sizes and can involve money, possessions, and even non-physical things such as pride, time, or favors.
Research shows that the number of people diagnosed with gambling addictions between 2016 and 2017 has doubled statewide compared to the rate in 2009. Regardless of why someone might become addicted to gambling, there are many ways to reduce the risk:
- Set firm limits on the amount of time and money spent gambling
- Only bet what you can honestly afford to lose
- Don’t borrow money to gamble
- Leave your credit card at home when you gamble
Gambling addiction takes a hefty toll on families, which often deal with financial trouble, in addition to strained relationships and possible legal issues. Communities are also affected by problem gambling, resulting in issues such as higher unemployment rates, bankruptcy, forced home sales, increased substance abuse rates, and poor mental and physical health of individuals and families.
If you or a loved one are exhibiting signs of problem gambling, recovery is possible. “We have hundreds, thousands of people in the State of Ohio who have had a gambling disorder in their past and are now healthy, productive citizens as well as healthy families,” says Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, Ohio Bureau of Problem Gambling Chief.
If you suspect that you or a family member may have a gambling addiction, take the Responsible Gambling Quiz. For those who suffer from problem gambling, there are many ways to seek help, which is often free. For immediate assistance, call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966. Many more resources are also available on the Get Help page.