March 7, 2017 - 2:34 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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