Gambling just as much an addiction

Published 12:16 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

There are many organizations dedicated to helping people kick the habit, whether that habit is tobacco, alcohol, prescription pills or other hard drugs.

Now, several agencies are teaming up to help a smaller portion of the population take control of a lesser thought of addiction — gambling.

The Ohio Lottery Commission, Ohio Casino Control Commission and Drug Free Action Alliance will join the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in introducing their “Be the 95%” campaign, which encourages problem gamblers to get help for their addiction.

The campaign slogan refers to the 95 percent of people who are able to “gamble responsibly without negative consequences,” according to www.the95percent.com

The campaign focuses of the five percent of Ohioans who have a gambling compulsion, which results in financial, family or health issues, just as with any other addiction.

The state is focusing on addiction as Ohio gets more gambling options, including casinos, racinos, the Ohio Lottery, electronic gaming, bingo and skill game parlors.

The campaign website has a 10-question quiz allowing people to gauge whether they have a compulsive gambling problem.

Questions like, have you bet more than you can afford to lose, or have you borrowed money or sold anything to get gambling money?

While gambling may not seem like a legitimate addiction to some, there are many people who struggle with it and could use real help. If you know anyone who needs help, call 1-800-589-9966 to find free counseling options.