March 7, 2017 - 2:32 pm - Posted in News

poker chipsNorthwest Iowa — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a proclamation last week designating March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month in Iowa. ¬†Branstad called it an opportunity for Iowans to start the conversation with friends or family who may show signs of a problem with gambling, or to have an honest conversation with themselves.

Cheryl Buntsma is a Certified Prevention Specialist with Compass Pointe Behavioral Health, who tells KIWA that the latesst report shows a slight drop in the number of Iowans who are gambling.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, that 3-percent of the adult population who experienced a problem translates to 294-thousand Iowans.

Buntsma says that 84-percent of Iowa 6th, 8th, and 11th graders haven’t gambled for money or possessions, but 1-percent of those that DO have bet and lost more than $100.

As for adults who gamble as a recreational activity, Buntsma had this advice.

She says help is available for individuals or families affected by problem gambling.

In case you missed those numbers, you can call 1-800-BETS OFF (1-800-238-7633), or visit www.1800BETSOFF.org.  You can also call Compass Behavioral Health at 712-262-2952.

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