ORLANDO, Fla. – Just as addictions to alcohol and drugs have devastating consequences for an addict’s family members, compulsive gambling oftentimes destroys the lives of people who never have bet on anything. Compulsive gamblers affect their families not only financially, but emotionally and physically as well.
During Problem Gambling Awareness Week, March 7 -13, the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) will focus on the impact of problem gambling on families and spread the message of hope that treatment is available for those affected by compulsive gambling, even if the gambler is not willing to seek help.
Governor Charlie Crist has proclaimed Problem Gambling Awareness Week as a statewide initiative. Organizations across Florida have joined with the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling in this year’s theme of “Shining the Light on Problem Gambling” to raise public awareness and highlight treatment options available to gamblers and their families.
“Compulsive gambling results in broken promises, broken rules, broken hearts and broken homes,” said Pat Fowler, director of The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling. “We want families to know that even if a problem gambler won’t seek treatment, there are still resources available to family members who need help dealing with the negative consequences the problem gambler has created.”
Thousands of Floridians of all ages are impacted by problem gambling and oftentimes family members suffer more than the gamblers themselves. Effects of compulsive gambling can range from loss of basic necessities such as food and shelter to loss of hope, trust and family security. Problem gambling often results in destroyed personal and social relationships, physical violence, emotional abuse and neglect.
Fortunately, resources are available and families of problem gamblers can get help for themselves even if the gambler is not ready to do so. Family members can access resources confidentially through the FCCG’s free, multilingual 24-hour Helpline at 888-ADMIT-IT, or by visiting GamblingHelp.org.
ABOUT PROBLEM GAMBLING AWARENESS WEEK:
Problem Gambling Awareness Week (PGAW) is a national, annual outreach campaign to educate the public, policymakers, educators, businesses, mental health service providers, criminal justice professionals, and others about the adverse effects of gambling as well as available treatment. The goal of PGAW is to educate the general public and health care professionals about the warning signs of problem gambling and to raise awareness about the help that is available for families of problem gamblers. Problem Gambling Awareness Week will take place March 7 -13, 2010.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA COUNCIL ON COMPULSIVE GAMBLING:
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) is a not-for-profit 501©(3) organization that provides information, resource referrals, and support services for problem gamblers, their families, employers, and others. The organization offers prevention and education programs, as well as professional training for mental health, addiction and medical practitioners, gambling operators, governments, businesses, academia, law enforcement authorities, faith-based organizations, and others. The FCCG is gaming neutral, taking no position either for or against legalized gambling, and is one of more than 35 affiliates of the National Council on Problem Gambling.