APTPG Strongly Supports National Problem Gambling Awareness Week
The Association of Professionals Treating Problem Gambling, Inc. (APTPG) is a corporation designed to provide education on compulsive gambling problems. As such the organization supports the message and the efforts of National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, to be conducted March 6- March 12, 2011. Jeff Beck, Vice-president of APTPG is the national chairman for the NPGAW initiative, and we salute his efforts.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Real Addiction, Real Recovery”. APTPG strongly believes that compulsive gambling is an illness which is treatable. Unfortunately statistics show that only 9% of compulsive gamblers ever seek treatment or self help programs. This may result from a stigma still being attached to compulsive gambling. Some regard it as a sin or moral weakness or a lack of willpower. Others believe that you cannot get addicted to a non-consumed item. APTPG teaches that compulsive gambling is a process addiction, akin to sex and food addiction. It is imperative that compulsive gambling be regarded as a treatable illness in order to convince sufferers to reach out for help.
obstacle to treatment of compulsive gambling is lack of needed funding. There
is no federal funding for gambling treatment, and most insurance companies do
not recognize gambling as a reimbursable illness. Most gamblers do not admit to
a problem until they are close to financial ruin and do not have the ability to
pay for treatment. The State of
At a time when gambling expansion is regularly considered by the New Jersey Legislature, it seems appropriate to seek out additional funds for treatment of gambling problems. Studies have consistently shown that as the opportunity to gamble increases more people will gamble and more will develop gambling problems. Maybe it is time to follow the lead of other states and tie funding for gambling treatment to gambling revenues. During National Problem Gambling Awareness Week APTPG urges individuals and governmental agencies to reflect upon the need and benefit of counseling for compulsive gambling. The negative effects on individuals, families and communities as evidenced by increased rates of divorce, bankruptcy and suicide warrant close attention. Let us all make efforts to call attention to the benefits of counseling for gambling problems during this week.