Baton Rouge --- Problem gambling is a serious issue in Louisiana facing as many as 200,000 of our state’s residents. 

To help raise awareness about Louisiana’s services for those who experience problems with gambling, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco has declared the week of March 5 as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.
 
“Problem gambling is a serious health issue in our state,” said Department of Health Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise. “In fact, between three and five percent of Louisiana’s adult citizens find themselves having some problems with gambling.  Our agency’s Office for Addictive Disorders helps people who have a gambling problem recover.”

“We know that there are many problem and pathological gamblers in Louisiana who could benefit from services aimed at curbing their addiction,” said Office for Addictive Disorders Assistant Secretary Michael Duffy. “Unfortunately, stigma and denial are a big part of this disease.  Too many people wait longer than necessary to get help.”

The state offers problem and compulsive gambling counseling services free of charge to Louisiana citizens.  In addition, the state also provides a toll-free helpline (1-877-770-7867) that handles approximately 125 calls per month from people with gambling problems and a Web site aimed at the prevention of problem gambling in youth atwww.thegamble.org.

For more information about problem gambling, please visit www.dhh.lousiana.gov and www.laprobgam.org.