Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, recognized the month of March as Problem Gambling Awareness month in an effort to bring attention to gambling addiction and connect people with treatment.
“We must promote a better understanding of problem gambling and prompt people struggling with problem gambling to seek help,” Sen. Dodd said. “Problem gambling is not only an addiction but it’s also a serious public health concern. Awareness and access to services are critical for anyone struggling with addiction, and that includes those facing gambling problems.”
National Problem Gambling Awareness month was established in 1972 by the National Council on Problem Gambling. Gambling disorder is classified by the American Psychiatric Association as an addiction that is similar to alcohol and drug dependence in many of the causes and consequences. The disorder is not only an addiction but can include co-occurring physical and mental health issues.
It is estimated that more than 1 million Californians will experience a gambling problem in their lifetimes, said Robert Jacobson, the executive director of the California Council on Problem Gambling.
“Many Californians don’t realize that we live in the largest gambling market in country,” Jacobson said. “Gambling addition can result in severe consequences to the gambler, their family, their finances and physical and mental health.”
The Office of Problem Gambling and the UCLA Gambling Studies Program operate the California Gambling Education and Treatment Services, which has provided treatment for more than 13,000 problem gamblers and people with gambling disorder since 2010. The collaborative offers a wide array of services, including self-help workbooks, telephone counseling and outpatient and residential care.
Call the confidential, 24-hour problem gambling helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537). Or visit the website at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPG/Pages/opg-landing.aspx
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.