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PA Department of Health Offers Help to Those With Gambling Problems

Friday, July 23, 2010 General News J E 4
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Free, Confidential Helpline Can Assist Problem Gamblers, their Family and Friends

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the recent introduction of table games in casinos across the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to offer assistance to Pennsylvanians who have a gambling problem.

The department's toll-free Problem Gambling Hotline, 1-877-565-2112, operates around-the-clock to help anyone who is dealing with compulsive or problem gambling. All calls are free and confidential.

"For most people, gambling is simply a game," said Robin Rothermel, director of the Department of Health's Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs. "However, for the up to four percent of gamblers for whom gambling may become a problem, it can be a devastating illness that affects you and everyone close to you. We are offering an easy way for those who may have a gambling problem to seek help."

The hotline offers resources such as problem gambling brochures; counseling referral services, including self-help groups; state-subsidized care and private care options; and related information. This service will provide assistance to anyone seeking information or help, whether for themselves, a friend or a family member.

Problem gambling is gambling that results in significant debt, family disruption, job losses, criminal activity or suicide. It affects the gamblers, their families, their employers and the community.

As a gambler goes through the phases of addiction, warning signs may include: spending less time with family and friends; spending money on gambling at the expense of the household and family's needs; and stealing money to support a gambling habit.

For more information about problem gambling, visit www.PaProblemGambling.com.

Media contact: Brandi Hunter-Davenport, 717-787-1783

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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