For the 15th year, the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling dedicates March to help increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment and recovery services. This coincides with the National Problem Gambling Awareness Month whose campaign theme is “Awareness + Action.”
“Problem gambling directly affects approximately 2.6 percent of adult Oregonians yet it remains largely not talked about,” said Oregon Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director Thomas Moore. “That’s why we participate in National Council on Problem Gambling campaign. It’s all about helping raise awareness of this addiction and the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling.”
National Problem Gambling Awareness Month is a grassroots effort that brings together a wide range of stakeholders - public health organizations, advocacy groups and gambling operators – who work collaboratively to let people know that hope and help exist.
“Creating awareness of problem gambling and available resources is a statewide commitment that is reflected in the official proclamation that Oregon Lottery and the Oregon Health Authority worked with the Governor’s office to develop,” added Lottery’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Stacy Shaw, who is also an officer on the National Council on Problem Gambling board.
Last year, visits to the Oregon Problem Gambling Resource website (www.oprg.org) increased dramatically during March as result of all the focused marketing and outreach efforts. “It’s inspiring that a grassroots campaign can have a measurable and meaningful statewide impact,” said Moore, “and we are working for even greater results in 2019.” Shaw agreed. “This year we are focusing on letting people know that in Oregon treatment is really free, a message that’s important to people struggling with gambling issues,” she said.
Roger Nyquist, a member of the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling as well as an Oregon Lottery retailer and county commissioner said awareness about treatment is key. “I recognize the importance of an ongoing focus to ensure community awareness of the risks associated with gambling and the resources available for both prevention and treatment,” he said. “The impact of problem gambling extends beyond the gambler, affecting families, friends and communities.”
The Oregon Lottery’s commitment to problem gambling support is year-round. Since 1992, one percent of Oregon Lottery profits has funded problem gambling treatment and prevention efforts throughout Oregon. Since that time, nearly $100 million in Lottery funds has supported those services, with $6.2 million allocated in 2018 alone. Additionally, this year the Oregon Lottery became the only lottery in the United States that sells video lottery to earn the World Lottery Association's highest level of certification in the field of responsible gaming.
The Oregon Lottery joined a select group of only eight other lotteries in the U.S. having received that level of certification from the WLA. To get help for a gambling problem for you or a loved one, call 1-877-MYLIMIT. Treatment is free, confidential and it works. For more information about problem gambling, how to have the conversation or to chat with a specialist, go to Oregon Problem Gambling Resource at opgr.org.
Information and photo provided by The Oregon Council on Problem Gambling
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