Start a Conversation: March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

For the nineteenth year, AdCare Maine will observe Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) during March, in collaboration with the National Council on Problem Gambling.  The campaign theme “Awareness + Action” aims to increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment & recovery services. It encourages all providers to have conversations about problem gambling issues and help direct people to the resources they may need.

Approximately 2 million U.S. adults (1% of the population) are estimated to meet criteria for gambling disorder. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) are considered to meet criteria for problem gambling. People with mental health and substance use disorders are at much higher risk for developing gambling disorder than the general population. Yet, gambling disorder is an invisible condition, causing deep distress for individuals and devastating consequences for families. Though gambling disorder is classified in the DSM-5 as a “Substance-Related and Addictive Disorder” which recognizes the similarities between problem gambling and addiction to substances, the severity of the problem is largely underestimated by individuals and society, including professionals who deal with at-risk populations each day.

Don’t know how to start the conversation about gambling?  This on-demand webinar has advice for using informal conversation starters such as, “What do you do for fun?” and “Are you watching the game this weekend?”

Looking for a screening tool?  Don’t know where to refer someone if they need help? Download our resource guide, with screening tools, self-help guides, and a comprehensive list of problem gambling programs and resources for individuals, families, and professionals in Maine.

Still have questions?  Contact Lori Manson, Problem Gambling Services Coordinator at