March 2021 is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, an annual event that takes place to bring awareness and resources to those individuals that may be dealing with a gambling problem or a gambling addiction. The theme of Problem Gambling Awareness Month 2021 is “Awareness + Action.”

Problem Gambling Awareness Month is a grassroots campaign supported by loose partnerships between the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) working alongside NCPG state affiliates, organizations, individuals, state health agencies, gambling companies, recovery groups, and other healthcare organizations and providers to bring about awareness of the issue of problem gambling.

The goals of the national campaign are to increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment, and recovery services, as well as to encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling issues. Awareness events will be held nationwide throughout different states and different local communities, as well as a national Gambling Disorder Screening Day will take place on March 9, 2021.

Issues with gambling, problem gambling, or compulsive gambling (often diagnosed as gambling disorder) is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes or the problems it causes in the life of the individual. Gambling involves risk and can stimulate the brain’s reward system in a similar manner that drugs and alcohol can with a person that suffers from substance use disorder. Also similar to a person with a drug or alcohol addiction, behaviors associated with gambling disorder can be problematic or concerning, such as hiding the behavior, depleting savings, accumulating debt, causing other financial hardships or instability, or resorting to illegal activities to support the gambling habit.

Gambling is often a co-occurring disorder that is present alongside a drug and/or alcohol addiction. Many individuals who suffer from substance use disorder also have issues with gambling or meet criteria for having a gambling disorder. Treatment for compulsive gambling or gambling addiction can be difficult or challenging, but many people who struggle with gambling addiction have found recovery with the help of treatment, clinical services, and mutual aid recovery support.

If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at info@marylandaddictionrecovery.com. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.

Zach Snitzer is the Corporate Director of Marketing at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center and is responsible for the business development, marketing, branding, public relations and social media strategies of the organization.