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Office of Problem Gambling

3 Questions Every Person Should Ask Themselves If They Are Worried About Gambling

Approximately one million California adults experience problems related to gambling. Do you ever feel an uncontrollable urge to gamble despite the negative impacts on yourself and your family like growing debt, relationship issues, missing work, lying, losing money and returning to win it all back?

Gambling does not discriminate - it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, income or even type of gambling: online betting, card rooms, tribal casinos, lottery, horseracing, bingo, raffles, etc.

Problem gamblers often feel as if they have lost a sense of purpose, they feel shameful and tend to withdraw from family and friends. Problem gambling is sometimes referred to as the “hidden disease” because the signs are not easy to see, like those related to drugs and alcohol, and are often mistaken for something other than gambling. A problem gambler can be diagnosed with depression, anxiety and mood swings all related to the uncontrolled gambling behavior.

Californian’s who suffer from gambling are not alone, there is HOPE and help available. There are several FREE and confidential options in California to assist individuals and their loved ones who are affected by problem gambling behavior through a program called CalGETS (California Gambling Education and Treatment Services).

CalGETS has provided help to over 11,000 adults (18+) suffering the negative effects of problem gambling behavior. Here is what CalGETS clients have to say in their own words:

“The CalGETS program saved my life.”

“It’s never really too late, going to treatment is the tool, you can learn how to handle things again.”

“With the support and therapy you can come out on the other side.”

CalGETS has many tools that can help you or your loved ones. Here are three questions that may help you assess if you or a loved one should seek assistance to help with problem gambling behavior:

  1. Have you ever tried to cut down or control your gambling?
  2. Have your ever lied to family members, friends or others about how much you gamble or how much money you lost gambling?
  3. Have there ever been periods lasting two weeks or longer when you spent a lot of time thinking about your gambling experiences or planning out future gambling ventures or bets?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and want to learn more, you can take a confidential 20-question self-assessment. When you or your loved one is ready to take the step toward getting gambling back under control, we are here 24/7. The first step to get help is to call 1-800-GAMBLER, text “SUPPORT” to 53342, or chat at 800gambler.chat. The California Department of Public Health Office of Problem Gambling administers problem gambling prevention and treatment programs throughout California.



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