March 13, 2013

OUR VIEW: Gambling a growing problem

National Problem Gambling Awareness Week may have ended Saturday, but those affected continue to face the effects on a daily basis.

If you’re thinking problem gambling can’t possibly be a problem here, think again.

At a meeting held last week to discuss the issue, Kathy Coffing said it’s a fast-growing problem. The gambling counselor at Four County Counseling Center called it “an almost hidden problem.”

The opportunities to gamble in Indiana have been on the rise for some time.

In 1978, there were only two states that had legalized gambling and in 1998, 20 years later, there were only two states without some form of gambling.

The Hoosier Lottery started in 1989.

The Indiana Riverboat Gaming Act was passed in 1993 allowing riverboat gaming in Indiana. The first of the allowed 10 casinos opened in 1995.

The Hoosier Park Horse Track opened in 1994.

Then came the Indiana Downs horse track in Shelbyville in 2002.

That brief history doesn’t even include off-track horse betting parlors, which opened in several cities around the state.

These are the things people think about when they think gambling.

What they don’t think about are Bingo, Bunco, pull-tabs and athletic bracket competitions like those used in the NCAA tournament.

It doesn’t matter what form the addiction takes, it’s still an addiction, Coffing tells us.

Problem gambling is described as behavior that causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. To make matters worse, it’s a progressive addiction, meaning the affected will become increasingly preoccupied by gambling. That’s when addicts find themselves flirting with rock bottom. They start chasing losses and getting increasingly desperate.

If any of this sounds familiar, you may have a problem or know someone who does. What Coffey and the group presenting in Logansport last night week are trying to convey is that it’s OK to admit you need help. There are countless agencies across the state and country trying to pull gamblers out of the shadows.

Six million adults and 500,000 teens nationwide meet the criteria for gambling addiction. Are you one of them? We encourage you to find out here:

If you are, get help. Call Four County gambling counselor at 574-722-5151 ext. 2417. If that feels too close for comfort, call the Problem Gambling Help Line at 800-994-8448.

There’s help out there, including state-funded treatment for those who can’t afford it. Coffing said she has seen families fall apart because of an addiction. There are support systems in place for gamblers and their families.

Don’t let yourself hit rock bottom before you decide to do something about it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • WOLFSIE: Giving a word of advice So, what’s the word? Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which t

    August 1, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Stop spinning wheels and fund highways It is important that Congress act quickly to maintain sufficient funding levels in the Highway Trust Fund to pay for necessary highway projects.Indiana receives more than 40 percent of its total state highway and transit funding from the federal gove

    August 1, 2014

  • PETERS: Have a cup of joe to help your eyes? My day starts with coffee. I’m too cheap to buy it by the cup from baristas, so I just brew my own Folgers by the pot. I have a cup or two as I settle into work each morning, and another cup – sometimes two – in the early afternoon. That may not be w

    August 1, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: America still the dream Is America really in as bad as shape like many people say it is? I’m 67 and when I look around, I don’t see it.Everything isn’t great but believe it or not, there has never been a time when everything was great, not even in those innocent Fifties we

    July 31, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Every town that has any sort of waterway -- whether it be a river or a creek or just a stream -- knows it will be used as a trash can. And oftentimes, tires are a favorite trash to be tossed into the waterways. Many organizations and concerned citize

    July 31, 2014

  • WERNER: The mystery of the Indian grave at Dykeman Last summer I contacted Thelma Conrad, executive director of the Cass County Historical Society, to ask her if she had any information on the Indian grave at Dykeman Park. Thelma had heard of it but had never seen the small marker that tells of the I

    July 31, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Data confirms our obsession with sports Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 30, 2014

  • RAMPBELL: Keeping the sick at home Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.The Big Apple, you see, is joining a handful of other trailblazing cities such as Washington, San Francisco

    July 30, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Patacsil was no ordinary Joe Somebody forgot to tell Joe Patacsil that if he wanted to wrestle at a Big Ten university with black and gold as its school colors ... well, most people who know anything about college wrestling today might have said he picked the wrong one -- Purdue

    July 30, 2014

  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.