Public Health Officials Raise Awareness of Gambling Addiction

By Staff Writer

Gambling addiction is a growing problem in many parts of the country, but public health officials are working to address the issue. This week marks the annual observance of Problem Gambling Awareness Week, and some officials are using it as a stage to warn of the dangers of problem betting.

In Pennsylvania, representatives from several branches of government are marking the occasion by reminding people that placing wagers can be an exciting pastime, but when it becomes an uncontrollable urge, individuals need to seek help from drug rehab and mental health facilities.

The executive director of the Pennsylvania Lottery said that his department takes gambling addiction very seriously, and while only about 1 to 3 percent of lottery players have problems, those who do should seek immediate counseling.

He added that the state has worked hard in recent years to make it easier for individuals to seek help for gambling addiction. The Department of Health offers emergency counseling and referral services for those who are ready to confront their issues.

Letting addicts know of the resources available is an important part of helping them to recover, and Problem Gambling Awareness Week is a good opportunity to do that.