Learn the signs of gambling going too far during Problem Gambling Week starting on Monday.

South Cochrane Addiction Services and Jackpot City in Timmins are teaming up to teach the community about the dangers of taking gambling too far. Addictions Councillor Carole Young says there are some signs of problem gambling to watch yourself and your friends for include:

  • it becoming the only thing that’s enjoyable
  • isolation
  • forms of depression

Young says when gambling starts becoming a problem, it can affect your life in many ways.”That can include anything from the range of broken social relationships with family and friends, financial losses and substance use disorders, all of which have severe negative impacts on peoples’ lives. Eventually left long enough, it can lead to homelessness and extreme poverty.”

She says this is something that we now have to really watch out for because gambling is always accessible online or on our phones. Young adds that you have to make sure you are aware of the odds and randomness of winning so you can gamble responsibly.

Addiction Services says about one to two per cent of the overall population of people ends up going to the extreme end of the pathologic gambling spectrum. “We’re very confident that there are many individuals with concerns about problem gambling in the area that are not accessing services,” states Young. “We are not sure if the reason behind this is that they don’t perceive the gambling to be an issue, or that they are just not aware of the services that exist in our community.”

Young says there are many services for people facing gambling problems and those looking to help someone else. She says problemgambling.ca and responsiblegambling.org are both great online resources. She adds that Addiction Services also has councillors and resources on hand to help.

Young says Jackpot City will be hosting an informational event on Tuesday where you can learn about the signs to watch for, the resources available and how to gamble safely. The event will run from 12:00pm to 3:00pm.