Hope & Help for Problem Gamblers
Nearly 56 percent of Louisiana adults report participating in some form of gaming at least once in the past year and the vast majority of them do so responsibly as a form of entertainment. However, in any given year 1.4 percent meet the criteria for pathological gambling and another 1.7 percent have a less significant but still serious problem known as problem gambling.* Like other addictions, the problem gambler has little power over his or her urge to gamble, which can result in psychological, financial, emotional, marital and legal problems for the gambler and his or her family. Problem gambling is not a bad habit or a moral weakness. It is a serious condition that can be treated. For some, gambling is no longer fun -- it's no longer a game.
The good news is that hope and help are available. Louisiana is the only state to offer a variety of confidential problem gambling treatments, most of which are state-funded: inpatient, outpatient, private counseling and 12-step meetings. Even better, these programs work!
That's why the Louisiana Lottery Corporation joins the Department of Health and Hospitals' Office of Addictive Disorders and the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling in supporting National Problem Gambling Awareness Week in March to create awareness of problem gambling to those who feel that they may have a problem or who may have friends or family with a problem.
* Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital's Office of Addictive Disorders 2008 Louisiana Compulsive Gambling Committee Report.