March is problem gambling awareness month. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to everyone across the nation. With that there has been an increase in the number of people that have found themselves struggling with problem gambling. Major triggers for problem gambling are being exacerbated during this time of isolation; depression, anxiety, loneliness, boredom and stress.
Financial uncertainty can drive a person to gamble in hopes of income. Unfortunately, the end result may be further debt and greater feelings of despair.
Although most adults who gamble can do so for a fun recreational activity; for some it may become a problem with negative consequences.
Some warning signs that gambling might be a problem include:
∫ Thinking about gambling often.
∫ Lying or covering up gambling behaviors.
∫ Missing time with friends and loved ones to gamble.
∫ Gambling to escape negative feelings or problems.
∫ Gambling more money than a person can afford or planned.
∫ Unsuccessfully trying to cut back or stop gambling.
If you, or a loved one is struggling reach out.
Call the free, confidential New York state Hopeline at 1-877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) for help, and referrals to treatment.
Substance Abuse Prevention Educator
Fulton-Montgomery Catholic Charities