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ABC6: Record lottery jackpot shines light on gambling addiction

Via ABC6 News

Gambling addiction is in the spotlight as the jackpot for the Mega Millions soared to a record $1.6 Billion Tuesday.

Bruce Jones, gambling counselor with Maryhaven said the record lottery jackpot has created triggers for many people he knows struggle with their addiction.

“I’ve had gotten a few more calls, but it usually has been from clients from the past that are like ‘hey, I’m really struggling. It’s a lot of money and I don’t want to get a new anniversary date, clean date for my GA meeting,” said Jones.

The counselor said many of the people he works with have coping mechanisms to deal with their addiction.

Jones said he works with people to find out why their gambling has gotten out of control.

“They know how to quit, but what is making them go? What is the thrill that they’re getting out of it. Is it an escape from daily life?”

Jones added for people who know an addict, it’s important for them to not push the source of the addiction. He added in times when there’s an added frenzy over a large lottery jackpot that people set boundaries for responsible gambling.

“Knowing what your odds are. How much time are you going to put into it? How much money are you going to cap it off?”

People who are addicted or know someone who is can find resources from Maryhaven here.

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