The issue is one that impacts residents of all ages, race and ethnic backgrounds. DMHAS helps fund prevention, referral and treatment for gambling addictions.
"Gambling, like drug and alcohol addiction, can be successfully treated. We urge all providers and community members to learn more about the signs and symptoms of problem gambling and the help that is available,” said Raquel Mazon Jeffers, director of addiction services in DMHAS.
Nationally, about 2 million adults meet the criteria for at-risk gambling every year. An estimated 350,000 New Jersey residents are considered to be pathological, problem or at-risk gamblers. Some of the signs associated with problem gambling include:
• gambling until your last dollar is gone
• using income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid
• borrowing money to finance gambling
• feeling depressed or remorseful as a result of gambling losses
More than 30 public and private agencies in New Jersey are partnering with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. (CCGNJ) this year to offer outreach activities, literature distribution, lectures, and awareness programs throughout the month.
“Since June 1999, the New Jersey Lottery has participated on the Council of Compulsive Gambling’s Board of Directors. As well, the Council’s gambling hotline is printed on every Lottery ticket, brochure and signage, and also appears as a tag line on all of our radio and television advertisements. The Lottery’s web site directs visitors to the Council’s site, which provides the public with free information and help for compulsive gambling,” said Lottery Executive Director Carole Hedinger.
“We're very pleased to continue to work with the Council to further convey the message of responsible play to the gaming public,” Hedinger continued.
CCGNJ operates a 24-hour confidential helpline, taking 20,000 calls a year. Any individual with a gambling problem or a family member needing assistance can call 1-800-GAMBLER for help and referral. Information on Problem Gambling Awareness Month activities in New Jersey and additional resources can be accessed through the CCGNJ website: http://www.800gambler.org/.
To access the National Problem Gambling Awareness Week website for its resources and helpful tools, go to this URL: http://www.npgaw.org/.
CCGNJ, which works with treatment providers and conducts prevention outreach programs, is partially funded by assessments to off-track wagering licensees and forfeited casino proceeds.