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NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services announces new actions to increase availability, awareness of problem gambling services

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Tue, Dec 11th 2018 06:45 pm

First problem gambling resource centers in New York are now operational

New media campaign raises awareness of dangers of problem gambling, helps direct people toward help

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) on Monday announced new actions to increase the availability and awareness of problem gambling services in New York. This includes the opening of two new problem gambling resource centers (PGRC), which will serve as central hubs for the public to access prevention, treatment and recovery support services on problem gambling in their respective regions. OASAS has also launched a new media campaign designed to raise awareness of the warning signs and impact of problem gambling, and direct people on how to get help for themselves or others. The “You’re Not Alone” campaign includes content on several different platforms, and will run across the state through January 2019.

"Gambling addiction is a serious problem affecting New Yorkers and their families,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, co-chair of the heroin and opioid task force. “We are working to ensure a balance between new gaming options and an increase in addiction services. We don’t only want to treat individuals struggling with addiction, but prevent people from becoming addicted and inform New Yorkers about the issue across the state."

“Like addiction to substances, problem gambling can impact individuals, families and communities,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “New York state offers nation-leading problem gambling services, and these actions will help us reach more people with these services and direct them to the help they need.”

The two problem gambling resource centers that are now operational are located in the Finger Lakes and Northeast regions. Future PGRCs will be placed in the New York City, Long Island, Central New York, Western New York and Mid-Hudson regions. In addition to facilitating problem gambling services in the regions, the centers will build collaborative relationships with local gambling facilities to ensure information and referrals are available to people who identify as having a gambling problem. People who call the NYS HOPEline will be provided “a warm transfer” to the PGRC, where they will receive personalized support and engagement until they are connected with a local referral in their community. More information about the PGRCs can be found here.

The PGRCs are operated by the New York Council on Problem Gambling, which was awarded $3.3 million over three years for operation of the centers. They are funded through annual licensing fees that commercial casinos operating in New York must pay for each gaming table and slot machine in their facilities.

The “You’re Not Alone” media campaign targets the areas around the four new commercial casinos in New York: Resorts World in the Catskills, Rivers Casino in Schenectady, Del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo and Tioga Downs in Nichols; it includes billboards, posters in local convenience stores and near treatment centers, and ads on public buses. There are also digital components, including streaming videos, social media, mobile desktop displays, and ads on search engines. A PSA in both English and Spanish will air on the radio.

For more information on problem gambling, including information about warning signs, effects of problem gambling, and resources to find help, visit the problem gambling section of the OASAS website here.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS treatment availability dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website. Visit CombatAddiction.ny.gov to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the state’s Talk2Prevent website

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