Play responsibly during National Problem Gambling Awareness Week
In Louisiana, we know how to have a good time, but the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) would like to remind residents to play responsibly, with National Problem Gambling Awareness Week during March 4-10.
The goal of this campaign is to educate the general public and health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and raise awareness about the help that is available both locally and nationally. The NCPG is the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families.
All players are encouraged to follow these tips:
· Play only for fun.
· Consider any money lost as the cost of entertainment.
· Set a dollar limit and stick to it.
· Never borrow money to gamble.
· Don’t allow gambling to interfere with family, friends, or work.
· Never gamble to win back losses.
· Never use gambling as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain.
A problem with gambling may include a preoccupation with gambling, exaggerating winnings and minimizing losses, and feeling the need to bet more money more frequently, according to NCPG. Problem and pathological gambling can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s personal relationships, finances, and employment.
Problem gamblers accounted for 1.7 percent of the Louisiana’s population, according to a 2008 study conducted by the Louisiana Compulsive Gambling Committee. Pathological gamblers made up 1.4 percent. Overall, the problem gambling rates statewide have remained relatively stable over the past decade.
Additional information on problem gambling and treatment options can be found on the National Problem Gambling Awareness site, http://www.npgaw.org, or by visiting http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov and contacting the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call state’s toll-free hotline at (877) 770-7867.
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