For nineteen years, March has been designated by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) as Problem Gambling Awareness Month. It coincides with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that sees over $8 billion wagered on games.
According to Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) data from 2019, 315,000 adult Iowans experienced at least one problem related to their gambling in the past year.
“Like any addiction, gambling can impact anyone, and have serious harmful impacts on lives,” said Kim Niemeier, Rosecrance Jackson Centers Outpatient Services Director. “We have seen an increase in needs for treatment with sports betting and the isolation caused by COVID-19. Gambling is treatable and lasting recovery is possible with the help of caring trained gambling counselors.
Symptoms of problem gambling include:
Thinking a lot (preoccupation) about gambling, such as past gambling experiences, future gambling ventures, or ways of getting money for gambling
Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or with larger bets in order to get the same feeling of excitement
Repeatedly trying to cut down or stop gambling without success
Feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling
Gambling to run away from problems or to get relief from feeling depressed, anxious, or bad about yourself
After losing money gambling, often returning another day to win back losses
Dishonesty with others to hide gambling activities or its impact from them
Losing or almost losing a meaningful relationship, job, or an educational or career opportunity because of gambling
Relying on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling
Rosecrance Jackson Centers provides a supportive, caring environment in which clients work with expert staff who develop individualized treatment plans rooted in outcomes-based practices. In addition, the Iowa Problem Gambling Services program provides a continuum of care for those impacted by gambling.
If you or a loved one are facing a problem with gambling, please call Rosecrance Jackson Centers at 800-472-9018. You may also contact Iowa Problem Gambling Services at 1-800-BETS OFF, text (855) 895-8398, or visit https://yourlifeiowa.org/gambling to initiate an online chat session for free and confidential help 24/7.