BELMONT, OH (WTRF) — This Mental Health Awareness Month we’re seeing concerning stats around the pandemic.
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says depression and anxiety are up and people are self-medicating their social isolation with alcohol and gambling.
The Department says liquor sales are sky high in Ohio.
While the stats are not out for 2021, the prevention services chief says the Ohio Valley has a concerning track record.
“In Belmont, Harrison and Monroe, we had more individuals who self-reported gambling while intoxicated than anywhere else in the state. We also had more individuals self-reporting in the 18–24-year-old age group gambling while intoxicated. And that was 2017. It had nothing to do with the pandemic whatsoever, but they are troubling behaviors.”Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, Chief of Prevention and Problem Gambling with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
In 2020 they screened 63,000 Ohioans for problem gambling and treated just under 1,000 for a gambling disorder.
Stacey says more people are calling the Problem Gambling Helpline, which is good that people are getting help, but it is also a sign that there’s a greater problem this year than before.
If you find yourself facing addiction, don’t let your life get consumed. There is help: West Virginia’s is 1800-Gambler and Ohio’s is 1800-589-9966
There are also quizzes to take online to find out if someone is as risk. Head here.