Gambling Addiction: No One Wins

Holland Hospital Participates in Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Holland Hospital, in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling, dedicates March to helping people “ have the conversation” about problem gambling. Approximately 2 million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling, another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; yet for many, gambling remains a hidden addiction.

As March Madness reaches a crescendo with an estimated $10 billion in bets placed on the NCAA basketball championship games, calls to the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) spike an average of 30% during the month.

“Gambling often starts out as recreational or social, then progresses into a more serious problem where the frequency of gambling and the amount of money bet increase,” said Mark Bombara, Addiction Specialist, Holland Hospital Behavioral Health Services. “Problems begin to show up in many ways affecting our relationships, health, finances and our personal values.”

Problem Gambling Awareness Month is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have a problem with gambling.

  • Have you become restless, irritable or anxious when trying to stop or cut down on gambling?
  • Have you tried to keep your loved ones from knowing how much you gambled?
  • Did gambling losses cause you to get help with your living expenses from family, friends or welfare?

Bombara is available to help our community work through gambling addiction.

For more information or to get help, call Holland Hospital Behavioral Health Services at (616) 355-3926 or the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline at (800) 270-7117.

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