March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) is held every year during the month of March throughout the United States.

Mission and Goals

Since 2003, the month of March has aimed to educate the general public and health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and raise awareness about the help that is available both locally and nationally for problem gamblers and their families.

The 2017 PGAM theme is “Have the Conversation”.

During March the National Council on Problem Gambling offers a variety of free tools, suggested activities and the necessary materials to promote problem gambling awareness, including:

  • Fast two-question diagnostic screen for healthcare providers;
  • TV Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the gaming industry;
  • Sample proclamations for state, tribal, county and city government;
  • Fact sheets on internet gambling, youth, seniors, etc…1

What is Gambling Addiction?

A type of process or behavioral addiction, gambling addiction can best be described as the compulsion to gamble or place bets despite this behavior having a negative impact on the gambler’s life. Debts begin to climb and other negative consequences start piling up and yet, those who are addicted to gambling cannot resist the overwhelming urge to place another bet.

The repeated action of gambling has been found to actually cause changes in the addict’s brain similar to that seen in the brain of someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. Once this occurs, professional treatment is usually the only way to overcome the obsessive need that accompanies gambling addiction.

Substance Addiction and Gambling

According to a study conducted by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital between 10% and 20% of people who have problems with substance abuse are also struggling with major issues with gambling. Pathological Gambling is a common comorbid condition of Substance Abuse and requires appropriate clinical assessments.  Individuals with these co-occurring conditions should seek treatment at a comprehensive rehab center that provides specialized care to treat both conditions. Failure to identify and treat comorbid substance-use disorders in gamblers may lead to higher relapse rates.


Co-Occurring Addiction Treatment: Alcohol/Drugs and Gambling 

Florida Center for Recovery (FCR) provides inpatient addiction treatment services for individuals with co-occurring drug and or alcohol addiction and gambling addiction. Clients in need of withdrawal management services receive medical detox at our on premises detox center in Florida. For more information about our addiction treatment programs,  please contact us toll free at; 800-851-3291. Admissions can be arranged within 24 hours depending on the client’s particular circumstances.