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  Gambling Addictions

For most people, gambling is a form of recreation, pleasurable - though not often profitable. For some, however, the pleasure of gambling has spiraled out of control. It has become a serious problem that is similar to an addiction to alcohol or other drugs. The problem or pathological gambler can't stop - even when gambling becomes destructive.

Warning Signs of a Gambling Problem

  • Preoccupied with gambling
  • Secretive about gambling habits, and defensive when confronted
  • Trying unsuccessfully to control, cut back, or stop gambling
  • Bragging about gambling, exaggerating wins and minimizing losses
  • Restless and irritable when not gambling
  • Gambling to "feel better"
  • Borrowing money for gambling
  • Lying to hide time spent gambling or unpaid debt
  • Committing crimes to finance gambling
  • Frequent unexplained absences
  • Chasing losses (gambling to win back losses)
  • Losing work time because of gambling
  • Doing something illegal to get money for gambling
  • Jeopardizing a significant relationship or job by gambling
  • Relying on others to bail him or her out to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling

Getting Help

In Oregon, help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who is worried about their gambling, and for concerned family members. Whether you want to be referred to a free treatment program, want immediate counseling or just want someone to talk to about how gambling is affecting you or someone you know - call the Problem Gambling Help line at 1-877-2-STOP NOW (1-877-278-6766). Trained professionals are there 24/7 to help you.

Three different levels of help are available, depending upon your needs:

GEAR (Gambling Evaluation And Reduction)

A confidential, educational, phone-based program to help participants steer away from potentially harmful gambling patterns without going to a treatment center. GEAR combines phone consultation with certified counselors, workbook exercises, and referral resources to give participants the tools and motivation to make good choices about if and how much to gamble.

There is no charge for GEAR and it is easy to enroll. Simply call these toll-free numbers: 877-278-6766 (24-hour help line) or 877-870-0177 (8 AM-5 PM, Mon.-Fri., PST). A qualified advisor will talk to you about your gambling to determine if GEAR is right for you.

Outpatient Treatment

Professionally delivered, face-to-face interventions at our agency. This free treatment includes assessment, individual treatment planning, one to one counseling and/or case management sessions, group counseling, family involvement, if appropriate, and aftercare planning.

Contact us at Options for Southern Oregon at 472-9996 to schedule an appointment.

Preventing Gambling Problems

Our services also include prevention and outreach programs such as:

  • Community awareness presentations
  • Exhibit/displays on problem gambling
  • Classroom presentations
  • Educational materials, handouts, pamphlets
  • Consultation to community groups
  • information for parents, educators, health professionals and others

For more information: Click here to access information from the Problem Gambling Community Resource Guide from the State of Oregon.

Contact Jean A. Linck at 472-9996 to request gambling prevention or outreach services or resources in Josephine County.

Click here for the list of local Gambling Anonymous meetings in Josephine County...

Problem Gambling Web Links


Oregon Problem Gambling Help Line - www.oregonlotteryhelp.org/ - Where to go for help or treatment

My Limit - www.1877mylimit.org - Staff is available through Live Chat, by Instant Messaging, Email or you can reach us by phone at 1-877-MY-LIMIT. We're here to help!


Oregon Addiction and Mental Health Division - www.oregon.gov/DHS/addiction/gambling.shtml#gamblingprevention - Prevention resources, web links, resource library, downloads

Lane County Problem Gambling Prevention - www.co.lane.or.us/prevention/gambling/default.htm - Information on problem gambling prevention, emphasizing youth gambling

Statewide program administration and data:

Oregon Addiction and Mental Health Division - egov.oregon.gov/DHS/addiction/gambling.shtml - Overview of Oregon Services, downloadable resources, sample presentations, data and more

Oregon Gambling Addiction Treatment Foundation - www.gamblingaddiction.org/foundation.htm - Reports and research on problem gambling in Oregon.

General information on problem gambling:

National Council on Problem Gambling - www.ncpgambling.org/

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