OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) —
According to 1-800 GAMBLER, here are some signs of a gambling addiction.
You’re tried to quit, but you can’t.
You think you can win back the money you lost.
You bet more and more money each time.
You lie to family members or friends about your gambling.
And you think about gambling often.
One counselor at 1-800 GAMBLER says that as gambling becomes more prevalent in our society, so does the addiction.
Online gambling is accessible and not easily noticeable.
“If you’re doing online gambling, you can actually do that in the restroom at work, or at home while your kids are watching TV in front of you,” said Virginia Loew-Shelhammer of 1-800 GAMBLER.
She says it’s easier to hide a gambling addiction than an alcohol or drug addiction.
“They’re not going to work hung over,” said Loew-Shelhammer. “They’re not going to have track marks, they’re not going to be nodding off. It’s not an addiction that you can smell.”
Spouses are often shocked to discover there’s suddenly a second mortgage on the house or there are utility shutoff notices. Or that their loved one has stolen money.
“The feeling with this addiction is that I can take money from the office tonight, petty cash, and I can replace it tomorrow,” she noted. “Or I can take it out of this fund. And obviously I’m gonna win. Every gambler thinks they’re gonna win,” explained Loew-Shelhammer.
With the Super Bowl coming up, there’s even more temptation.
“That’s a whole new trigger, so we’ve got to watch the office pools and the online gambling,” she warned. “You don’t want to be facing bills you didn’t even know you were creating.”
1-800 GAMBLER is a line that is answered at all times.
And you can speak to a real person from your community.
You can also find Gamblers Anonymous meetings in several places in the Ohio Valley.