Managing Problem Gambling

Dr. Thomas Hall, PhD, Chair, PTSD Committee

Since the onset of the pandemic, with stay-at-home orders, the gambling industry has increased its online push, advertising on television and radio, and offering countless ways to gamble from home. And they are offering enticements to get started—in fact some are offering to pay off your first bet, win or lose.

For most, gambling does not become a compulsion that wrecks lives. However, for some, it is an addiction, with an adrenaline punch that becomes part of the chase, win or lose. And like most all addictions, problem gambling wrecks lives.

If you or a loved one are dealing with a gambling addiction, you are not alone. The below resources are available online to provide support and help navigate the barrage of gaming solicitations:

The National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) is an educational resource which can help you understand gambling disorders and learn about effective methods of treatment. https://www.icrg.org

The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700) where you can call and get support for a gambling problem. Help is available 24/7 and is 100 percent confidential.
Most states provide information regarding problem gambling. See help by state: https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/help-by-state/

Gamblers Anonymous: VVA chapters may wish to invest in a copy of BIG BOOK of Gamblers Anonymous and consider starting an online video support group, and after the current healthcare crisis has passed, providing space for a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. https://www.gamblersanonymous.org

Make the Connection is VA’s online resource designed to connect you, your family members and friends, and other supporters with information and resources about issues affecting your life. Learn more about overcoming gambling problems and hear stories from other veterans here: https://maketheconnection.net

Coaching Into Care is a service to help you and your family members and other loved ones find the appropriate services at your local VA facilities and/or in your community. Call 888-823-7458 to get started.


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