“National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life .” Many Americans are struggling from the effects of gambling, drug, and alcohol addiction, and while most may require some form of treatment, it is important to know that the pathways to recovery can vary. More specifically, while one person may benefit from one form of treatment and another may prefer another modality or a combination of options, the point is that one’s recovery is personal, so it needs to be the right fit. Let’s face it, just because counseling, an online resource, or a self-help group worked for a close family member or friend, does not mean it will work for you. Therefore, it’s important to know what the options are, so you can make an educated and informed decision.
While finding the right recovery program can seem daunting, the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling has simplified this process by serving as the one-stop destination for gambling addiction treatment referrals and related needs in the state. One contact to the HelpLine can provide help and information seekers with diverse resources, pending individual circumstances. Options include but are not limited to counseling referrals to certified professionals, self-help support groups; a peer connect program, a self-exclusion program, financial and legal resources, online and emergency supports, and population-specific resources and literature.
The 2021 National Recovery Month theme, “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community,” is intended to remind people in recovery and those who support them that no one is alone in the journey through recovery . This is a crucial point because the impacts of a gambling addiction wreak havoc on a family and often gamblers and loved ones think they need to suffer in silence. Each person struggling with a gambling problem affects minimally 8-10 people closest to them. In one study, over 90% of those affected by someone else’s gambling behavior reported feeling emotional distress . The effects of gambling disorder also trickle down to communities, given social and economic costs.
The biggest step to overcoming a gambling addiction is admitting that you have a problem. This takes tremendous strength because alongside it comes awareness and responsibility. Gambling addiction is treatable for those who seek help, and no one should feel they need to go through the process alone. Healing takes one day at a time and requires a recovery program that meets your needs, so remember, your recovery is all about moving forward, not back. Help starts here, so don’t delay.
If you or someone you know is struggling from the effects of a gambling problem, the FCCG’s 24-hour Confidential and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine can be reached at 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), by text (321-978-0555), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), live chat (gamblinghelp.org), via the 888-ADMIT-IT App (https://landing.appypie.com/888-admit-it) or on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
 The Association for Addiction Professionals (2021). National Recovery Month 2021.
 Nash, E., MacAndrews, N. and Edwards, S. (2018). Out of luck: An exploration of the causes and impacts of problem gambling. London: