Don’t wait—Self-evaluate. It’s National Problem Gambling Awareness Month


For many Nebraskans and their families, a gambling addiction is not a social issue or a financial issue.

It’s a “why can’t I stop” issue.

Nebraskans and their families who suffer a gambling addiction who seek help from the Nebraska Problem Gambling Assistance Program may have financial and social problems related to their gambling but what galvanizes them to get help is that they find they cannot quit – even when they try or want to.

March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, a time of the year dedicated to two of the highest wagered events in the U.S. – the Super Bowl and March Madness. Therefore, it is the perfect time to evaluate your own exposure to gambling and whether you’re in the risk zone for trouble.


If you’re unsure if gambling is a problem in your life, ask yourself the following three self-evaluation questions. Then, reach out to our team to get the help you need and want.


1. Is gambling affecting my financial well-being?

The only sure thing in gambling is that debt can add up quickly, especially when you’re betting at multiple casinos or sportsbooks. Increased accessibility online and the growing occurrence of “skill games” in convenience stores and gas stations only fuel the rapidity of financial losses.

Last year, 34% of NPGAP clients reported they had accumulated $25,000 or more in gambling debt. A good rule of thumb: it’s time to make a change when you bet more money than you mean to, bet more often than you’d like, or place wagers you can’t afford to lose.


2. Has my gambling changed over time?

To clearly identify whether you have a problem, take a step back and see if you notice any patterns or differences over the course of an extended period of time.

For example:

  • Were you once able to walk away but now struggle to stop?

  • Are you betting more, more often, than you used to?

  • Is your family worried about you?

As HelpGuide, an independent mental health nonprofit, notes, gambling can be a hidden struggle that’s hard to recognize until it’s grown into a major problem. Early signs of change, such as the ones listed above, can be some of the first clues that it’s time to get support.

Remember: You don’t have to stop gambling to start getting help to change your gambling.


3. Is gambling affecting my mental or physical health?

Problem gambling and mental health struggles often go hand in hand. When gambling starts out as a coping mechanism for depression or anxiety, the urge to keep gambling creates the condition for high losses over time. Adding to your increasing stress and anxiety over concerns about money can also lead to issues with sleep, which affect your mood, your energy levels, physical well-being, and decision-making.

Consider this: nearly 38% of NPGAP clients have considered suicide—and another 5.2% had attempted suicide before reaching out to our team for professional help.

It’s never too late to decide you want to get help or information. Help is free, a phone call or text away - 1-833-BETOVER (238-6837)  - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your health is too important to wait.


Why wait if you answered “yes” to any of these questions? Contact Justin at …today.

The Nebraska Problem Gamblers Assistance Program (NPGAP) is here to help Nebraskans manage their gambling and start enjoying life again.

We provide free, confidential support, guidance, and resources 24/7 on our helpline.

Call 1-833-BETOVER (238-6837) or text 402-806-7344 to connect with our Helpline Specialist Justin Antons (MA, LIMHP, LADC, CDGC), and learn more about how to identify and work through your triggers, establish a support system, and fix your finances.

March may be National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, but NPGAP is always here to help. Don’t wait. Call or text today.



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