Orville Thomas, (916) 440-7259
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith announced the department is gathering nationally recognized problem-gambling treatment experts to discuss issues such as Internet and app-based gambling. The CDPH Office of Problem Gambling’s (OPG) annual summit will be held in Los Angeles on March 7 - 8, 2016, with the theme of Changing Lives. “As gambling has entered our phones, pockets and purses, the triggers that affect the estimated one-million problem gamblers in California have become ever closer and constant,” said Dr. Smith. “The increase in ways in which people can gamble brings additional challenges for problem gamblers and their families.” Workshops on treatment and prevention will include treating the next generation of problem gamblers. Participants will hear from people in recovery and honor excellence in responsible gambling and in the treatment of gambling disorders. The annual summit is held in March to coincide with Problem Gambling Awareness month. The 2016 Problem Gambling Awareness month theme is Don’t Ignore the Signs of Problem Gambling. Signs include depression, guilt, shame, financial devastation, broken relationships, loss of employment, and even physical and mental health-related issues. For confidential, no-cost help with problem gambling, call 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537), visit the OPG website or text SUPPORT to 53342 (normal text-messaging fees apply). The OPG website has treatment options for gamblers and their families, self-help workbooks in 21 languages and a short quiz to help you identify problem-gambling behavior. OPG is responsible for developing prevention and treatment programs to reduce the prevalence of gambling disorder among California residents. It is funded through Indian gaming, the California Lottery and cardrooms.
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