Awareness and Action is the theme for this year. These are reflected in the 2022 goals of this national campaign are:
1) To increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment & recovery services and
2) To encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling.
Problem gambling is defined as all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family, or vocational pursuits. So, does betting on every Kansas City Chiefs game or going to the casino once a week mean problem gambling?–Not necessarily. The amount of money spent in comparison to their income determines this. Is the person’s work performance suffering because of gambling? Is he/she missing important family events?
Symptoms of problem gambling include:
• increasing preoccupation with gambling
• a need to bet more money more frequently
• “chasing” losses (betting, even more, to try to recoup previous losses)
• restlessness/irritability when trying to stop
• loss of control shown by a continuation of gambling despite mounting, serious, negative consequences
• in extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide
Who is at risk for problem gambling?
Anyone who gambles can develop problems. This is why it is important to be aware of the risks and to gamble responsibly if you choose to gamble. When gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships, and the workplace, a serious problem already exists. If you or someone you know has issues with gambling, contact Sieda Behavioral Health and Treatment Services at 641.683.6747. Other avenues of assistance include Your Life Iowa at YourLifeIowa.org/gambling or 1-800-BETS OFF.