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The South Carolina Education Lottery Announces “Problem Gambling Awareness Week” and “Play Responsibly Month”
2/26/2010 2:04:59 PM

Columbia, SC (February 26, 2010): The South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) is pleased to join with communities nationwide in recognizing March 7-13 as “National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.” Promoting responsible play is important to the Lottery. SCEL in conjunction with the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) kicked off a statewide campaign beginning March 1 to recognize not just the week but designating the entire month of March as “Play Responsibly Month.”

Year round, SCEL and DAODAS strive to raise awareness of the warning signs of problem gambling and to educate the public about the local resources available for individuals and family members whose lives have been disrupted by problem gambling. With few recognizable symptoms, problem gambling is easy to hide. Family and friends may become aware of the problem before the gambler. In South Carolina 1 percent to 2 percent of the population is struggling with a gambling problem, yet few people seek treatment. Treatment for problem gambling is available for South Carolinians and has proven effective in improving the lives of problem gamblers and their families. When a problem gambler’s family or friends decide to get help for themselves, the likelihood the gambler will seek assistance increases.

SCEL provides marketing support for the S.C. Gambling Helpline, a service operated by DAODAS. The helpline provides confidential referral to local treatment services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Calling the Helpline is the first step to receiving effective treatment. Please call 1-877-452-5155 if you or someone you know needs assistance with problem gambling or if you simply want to ask a question,” said Christopher Reid, DAODAS Gambling Services Specialist.

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