Problem gambling continues to be a complex addiction, as there is a stigma attached to gambling addiction. Many problem gamblers are reluctant to come forward and seek help, so it is important that assistance is easily accessible. In the American state of New Jersey, a new services aims to make this possible by allowing problem gamblers to ‘text for help’.
The new ‘Text For Help’ service allows problem gamblers and anyone who is affected by compulsive gambling to quickly seek assistance. The service is available 24 hours a day, and it can be accessed simply by texting "800GAMBLER" to 53342.
"Many times individuals with gambling problems do not recognize the early warning signs and continue to gamble despite severe negative consequences, thus allowing for the progression of the gambling problem,” says Donald Weinbaum, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling. Problem gambling remains one of the most elusive addictions.
Many compulsive players refuse to come forward and seek help for their addictions until it is too late. This because it quite an easy addiction to hide, as there are few adverse health effects that are commonly seen by problem gamblers. It is common for many problem gamblers to only seek help after they have hit rock bottom, so early intervention is the key in help gambling addicts.
When it comes to communication today, texting continues to be one of the most popular platforms. Most people with mobile phones avoid having to actually make phone calls. So, it is a great idea to launch a gambling help service that enables people to seek help using only text messages. The service is still quite new, so we have yet to find out how effective it is.
However, we imagine that putting access assistance at their fingertips will really help to curb problem gambling rates in the state.