MDCH Announces Problem Gambling Awareness Week As March 5-11

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

March 6, 2006

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is partnering with communities across the country this week as it proclaims March 5-11 as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.

During this week-long campaign, the primary goal will be for communities in Michigan to raise awareness of the symptoms and consequences of problem gambling.

“The issue of problem gambling severely affects the lives and health of thousands of Michigan citizens,” said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. “The awareness generated from this designated week will lead to healthier lives for those affected by problem gambling.”

Michigan allocates approximately $3 million each year – primarily from casino licensing fees – for treatment, prevention, education, training, research and the evaluation of pathological gamblers and their families.

These funds are mainly used for:

· A toll-free, confidential number (800-270-7177) for information and assistance is available statewide. The number is published on the back of lottery tickets, available in Detroit casinos, phone books, and through various public service announcements.

· Confidential, no-cost treatment services, accessed through the toll-free number, are available statewide through a network of trained counselors.

· A gambling awareness curriculum is available for schools to use as part of their prevention curriculum.

· Prevention activities, through public service announcements and brochures

As part of the awareness campaign, problem gambling screening information and referral services will be available at the following Universities:

· Davenport University, Dearborn March 7, 2006

· Spring Arbor University, Dearborn March 7, 2006

· Wayne State University, Detroit March 7, 2006

· Central Michigan University, Mt Pleasant March 16, 2006

Northern Michigan University and University of Detroit held screenings in February.

If you or someone you love has a gambling addiction, please call the 24-hour help line at 800-270-7177 for confidential assistance.