MIAMI- More than 10 million adults have tried to get help for gambling addiction – globally, around one in 400 – and the problem has become a global public health concern, a new study finds.
Research in the scientific journal “Addiction” looked at dozens of studies over the past decade. The results show that when it comes to moderate risk gamblers, one in 25 gamblers seek help. But of those with a gambling problem, one in five seek help.
In the United States, the National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that 2 million adults have a gambling addiction. And an additional 4 to 6 million are considered to have mild or moderate gambling problems. About 85% of adults have gambled at least once in their life, 60% of them in the past year.
With sports betting now legal in about 35 states, the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network said last year that it had seen a 45% increase in calls over the previous year.
Experts say a person should seek help if they feel the need to keep their gambling secret, if they have trouble controlling their gambling and can’t walk away, if they gamble even when she has no money, or her family or friends are worried. .
There is a wide range of treatment options for gambling addiction, including professional and non-professional treatment, as well as self-help.
Some forms of gambling are legal in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Only Hawaii and Utah have completely banned gambling of any kind.