Over 42,000 people in Nebraska, an estimated three percent of all adults, experience gambling problems each year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
"When you know more about the warning signs, you can take personal action or help a friend or relative who’s affected by problem gambling,” said Scot Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
March 3 – 9, 2013, is National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, and March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month in Nebraska. Communities nationwide will be working to raise awareness of problem gambling and the resources available for individuals whose gambling is causing disruption in their lives.
You may have a gambling problem if you:
- Gamble for longer than you intended;
- Borrow money to gamble;
- Lie about how much you gambled;
- Bet more than you intended.
Other warning signs are:
- Loss of interest and participation in normal activities with friends and family;
- Avoidance of questions about time and money;
- A sudden need for money/loans; missing possessions or assets; financial instability;
- Decline in health and neglect of personal needs, such as medical, food, utilities, etc.;
- Changes in attitude and personality; emotional instability, withdrawal, depression.
Problem gambling affects the emotional, physical and financial wellness of individuals and their families and impacts every aspect of society, Adams said.
"The good news is that people don’t have to wait to ‘hit rock bottom’ before asking for help," Adams said. “We know that through awareness, education and, if necessary, treatment services, we can prevent further problem gambling issues for Nebraskans."
For more information call the toll free helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537).
Other resources are:
The mission of the Nebraska Lottery is to generate proceeds for good causes while providing quality entertainment options to Nebraskans. Over $468 million has been raised for the Nebraska Lottery’s beneficiary funds since the Lottery began in 1993, including $11,072,940 for the Gamblers Assistance Program. All 93 counties in Nebraska have benefited from projects funded with these Nebraska Lottery proceeds.