Problem Gambling is an issue that affects millions of Americans and can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other mental disorders. Gambling addiction only gets worse if left untreated. Pennsylvania places a high priority on getting those affected by problem gambling the help they need. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, below are several options for how to seek treatment.
National Problem Gambling Helpline:
The NPGH serves people from across the country who suffer from forms of Problem Gambling and is available 24/7
Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA
Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania, Inc.
PO Box 444
Spring House, PA 19477-0444
Office Phone: 215-643-4542
Anonymous phone line: 1800-GAMBLER
The CCGP provides information, help, and guidance free of charge to anyone who needs help. Their website has videos, contact info and all the available options for seeking treatment.
Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
The DDAP website walks you through all available options that include:
- PA gambling hotline, 1800-GAMBLER
- Searching for a Gambling Addiction Participating Provider
- Text or Chat 24-hour chatline
- Self Exclusion requests
- Brochure on Self Exclusion
- Link to the PAGB for more information.
- More resources to consider including the National Council for Problem Gambling.
Self Help Resources:
Other than what Pennsylvania has to immediately offer, there are plenty of additional options available to those wishing to solve their issues with Problem Gambling or assisting someone who suffers from it.
Gamblers Anonymous (www.gamblersanonymous.org)
Fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other in the hopes that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. A list of open Gamblers Anonymous meetings in Pennsylvania can be found here.
Self-help organization for the spouse, family or close friends of compulsive gamblers. If think any of the listed members of your inner circle are suffering from Problem Gambling, your visit to the Gam-Anon website might be the last chance to save their life.
24/7 moderated online peer support forum. If you are uncomfortable with attending a live GA meeting or are unable to commit the necessary time, GamTalk is a great way to take those steps while surrounds by a supportive peer group. By learning and interacting with fellow recovering problem gamblers, you may find the tools required to boost your own fight.
Your First Step to Change Workbook (www.basis.typepad.com/basis/selfhelp_tools.html)
This online guide will help you understand gambling, figure out if you need to change, and decide how to deal with the actual process of change. By increasing the understanding of what Problem Gambling is and if whether or not you suffer from it, you can better your odds at beating the problem and live a more fulfilling life.
If you think you or someone you love is suffering from Problem Gambling, these screening tools are an asset in discovering the issue and then pivoting toward recovering. It is important to note that while these tools are beneficial, they are not to be used as direct adequate replacements to a licensed medical professional.
The Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS) – A 3-item survey designed to help people decide on their own whether to seek a formal evaluation of their gambling behavior.
DSM-5 Addictive Gambling Criteria – The American Psychiatric Association guidelines used for the medical diagnosis of addictive gambling.
NORC Diagnostic Screen for Gambling Problems – This self-test helps to evaluate a person’s gambling behavior. Just answer 10 questions adapted from the DSM IV criteria.
There are several treatment facilities located in Pennsylvania to help with problem gambling. To locate a facility near you, follow this link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/treatment-rehab/gambling/pa/philadelphia
Problem Gambling doesn’t develop overnight, and can not be solved overnight. It is a problem that can affect all aspects of your life if left untreated. If you or someone you know is showing signs of Gambling Addiction, please seek help through one of the available resources.