If you’re struggling with a gambling problem, you may have considered calling a gambling helpline. But before your fingers could start tapping the right keys, your doubts began to sink in. Who will be on the other end of your call? What kind of questions will they ask? Will you have to give your name?
We’re here to assure you that you don’t have to fear calling a gambling helpline. You’re completely in control of the call and never have to share anything you’re uncomfortable with. Let’s take a closer look at what happens when you call 800-GAMBLER or another helpline for problem gambling.
What Will Happen When You Dial a Gambling Helpline
Every call is answered by a licensed gambling disorder counselor .NOT TRUE AT ALL They are equipped to answer even the most challenging questions and have been trained in suicide prevention to provide crucial help if and when you need it.
The call will begin with the counselor asking you to tell them what’s going on and what you are struggling with. The tone is conversational, and you can share as much or as little as you want. You do not have to share your name! Your gambling disorder expert may ask you questions about:
- Your safety and if you’re in a life-threatening situation
- Your need for crisis counseling
- The extent of your gambling problem and how long you’ve been struggling
- Situations you are in as a result of your gambling disorder
- Your wish for referrals to treatment programs or support groups
While you’re on the line, the counselor will go over local treatment options available, share facts about gambling disorders, and even suggest gambling support groups and events happening near you. If you’re interested, your phone counselor will send you self-help materials and set up an appointment for you with one of their state-wide counselors.
The best part about calling a gambling helpline is receiving free and confidential advice when you need it most. It’s a great first line of defense when you feel like your gambling behavior is getting out of control.
Calls to Gambling Helplines Are Increasing
Within the last two years, calls to gambling helplines across the nation have grown exponentially. Connecticut’s gambling helpline saw a 126% increase in calls from people seeking help for their gambling problems within the last six months alone.
What is contributing to this spike in calls for help? Sports betting is becoming more rampant, and online gambling sites have become easier to access. The pandemic itself has ignited a passion for gambling as people have sought ways to relieve their stress, anxiety, and boredom. The good news is that people struggling with gambling disorders have a helpline they can call whenever they need.
Signs You Need to Call a Gambling Helpline
The sooner you seek help for your gambling impulses, the better the outcomes will be. But how do you know if you’ve reached the point where you need to call a helpline? Watch for these signs that it’s time to call a problem gambling helpline:
Take Control of Your Life and Call a Gambling Helpline
Even if it feels like you do not have control over your gambling behavior, you still have the chance to regain control of your life. If you live in New Jersey and need help with your gambling disorder, call 1-800-GAMBLER and speak with a licensed counselor today.