For the 14th year, the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling dedicates March to helping people ”have the conversation” about problem gambling.
”Problem Gambling directly affects approximately 2.6 percent of adult Oregonians yet it remains largely not talked about,” said Oregon Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director Thomas Moore. ”That’s why we participate in the National Council on Problem Gambling ‘Have the conversation’ campaign to help raise awareness of this addiction and the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling.”
National Problem Gambling Awareness Month is a grassroots effort that brings together a wide range of stakeholders – public health organizations, advocacy groups and gambling operators – who work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist.
”Creating awareness of problem gambling and available resources is a statewide commitment that is reflected in the official proclamation that Oregon Lottery and the Oregon Health Authority worked with the Governor’s office to develop,” added Stacy Shaw, director of social responsibility for the Oregon Lottery.
But the ”Have the conversation” campaign is more than just all talk. Last year, visits to the Oregon Problem Gambling Resource website increased dramatically during March as result of all the focused marketing and outreach efforts. ”It’s inspiring that a grassroots campaign can have a measurable and meaningful statewide impact,” said Moore, ”and we are working for even greater results in 2018.”
Oregon’s problem gambling services manager, Greta Coe notes, ”The impact of problem gambling extends beyond the gambler, affecting families, friends and communities. It is important to have the conversation to raise awareness of the risks that can be associated with gambling and for the community to be informed of all the different resources available at your fingertips through Oregon Problem Gambling Resource. This includes free treatment, local self-help meetings, peer support type services and motivational support messaging.”
Oregon Lottery’s commitment to problem gambling support is year-round. Since 1992, one percent of Oregon Lottery profits have funded problem gambling treatment and prevention efforts throughout Oregon. Since that time, nearly $93 million in Lottery funds has supported those services, with $5.7 million allocated in 2017 alone.
To get help for a gambling problem for you or a loved one, call 1-877-MYLIMIT. Treatment is free, confidential and it works. For more information about problem gambling and how to have the conversation, go to oregoncpg.org or ncpgambling.org.