(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – With sports betting officially legal in Ohio, Empower Tusc is warning the community of signs of problem gambling.
Problem gambling – also known as ‘compulsive gambling’ or ‘gambling disorder’ – is a progressive condition that can severely affect a person’s quality of life. As many as 6 million people (2-3%) in the U.S. have a gambling disorder. This translates to roughly 285,000 adults and 38,000 tens in Ohio alone.
The recent legalization of sports betting in Ohio leads experts to expect these numbers to increase as more and more people pursue gambling opportunities. While sports betting can be a fun way to engage with the sports we love and even bond with family and friends, it poses serious risks for some to develop disordered behavior. Gambling carries the highest suicide rate among all other forms of addiction.
It is critical that we know and understand the warning signs of problem gambling. Warning signs include:
- Being preoccupied with gambling, constantly planning gambling activities
- Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
- Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling without success
- Feeling restless or irritable when trying to cut down on gambling
- Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, or depression
- Trying to get back lost money by gambling more
- Lying to others to hide the extent of gambling
- Risking or losing important relationships, a job, or school or work opportunities because of gambling
- Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you continue to gamble money away
“There is no harm in being aware and educated about possible risks,” explained Jodi Salvo, Empower Tusc Coalition Coordinator. “By educating ourselves we increase the likelihood that we are alerted to risky behaviors, which in turn allows us to help ourselves and others sooner.”
Gambling can exacerbate existing mental illness or raise new health concerns. It is important that those who are or plan to gamble take precautions when doing so. Make sure you have support resources on hand, and that you’re limiting the amount of time and money you spend on gambling. Like most things, engaging in gambling should be done in moderation.