Get help with a gambling problem before you despair (your letters)

For the editor:

Over the past two months, you’ve published articles about individuals doing illegal gambling-related things. Three articles come to mind: “State AG accuses former Syracuse charity CEO of stolen nearly a million dollars” (February 19, 2022); “Former Byrne Dairy employee charged with alleged theft of stolen lottery tickets” (March 11, 2022); and “Syracuse Social Security worker stole $100,000, spent vacationing, gambling and living lavishly” (March 16, 2022). As gambling becomes glamorous, more socially accepted and its accessibility increases, the problems associated with gambling also increase. What these stories do not show is the cycle of conflict, mental distress and struggle leading up to the alleged crimes.

Every day, thousands of people play – slots, lottery, scratch games, poker, sports betting – with no problem. But what happens when gambling starts to invade someone’s life? Eventually people start losing money. The more money they lose, the more distressed and anxious they become. And the more desperate they become, the more they play to try to make up for what they have lost. Some may seek to support a gambling habit by stealing and doing other things they normally wouldn’t think of doing.

We call problem gambling hidden addiction because it can often be hidden from others until the harm from gambling is too bad to hide. Problem gambling occurs over time and can potentially damage relationships with family and friends. It can also negatively impact the workplace, especially if that’s where the problems are occurring. This is when we see theft, embezzlement and counterfeiting.

If you’re worried about a loved one or co-worker, here are some warning signs to watch out for: Gambling to escape or avoid worries, frustrations or disappointments; neglecting other responsibilities to focus on gambling activities; increase the amount of money bet to recoup losses; playing around with the money needed for necessary expenses, such as groceries or medications; relying on others to get out of debt; feeling hopeless, depressed, or even suicidal because of gambling.

There may be certain consequences that people with a gambling problem must take responsibility for. However, to ensure that they can repair their wrongdoings and avoid future problems, we must promote the health and well-being of the individual and the family through support, treatment and recovery for problem gambling. and gambling disorders.

The Central Problem Gambling Resource Center, a program of the NY Council on Problem Gambling, is here to support anyone negatively affected by problem gambling. If you are having any issues with your own or someone else’s game, call (315) 413-4676 or email [email protected] to speak to the caring and knowledgeable staff at PGRC who will put you in touch with the resources that will best meet your needs. Needs.

Recovery, restoration and healing are possible.

Elizabeth Toomey

Central team leader

New York Council on Problem Gambling

Eastern Syracuse

Related: As mobile sports betting explodes in New York, bet on this: a spike in compulsive gambling

Comments are closed.