On September 29, 2018, Oregon will celebrate its 23rd annual Problem Gamblers Awareness Day with a Proclamation from Governor Kate Brown and the support of the Oregon Health Authority.
The commemoration of Awareness Day was started by Eugene resident, Ronda Hatefi, with the support of former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. Hatefi started Problem Gamblers Awareness Day after her brother, Bobby Hafemann, died by suicide following a difficult struggle with his gambling addiction. Since his death, treatment and outreach for problem gambling has grown considerably in Oregon.
Ronda Hatefi is the founder of Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization (OGAO). Her hope is to strengthen the message that “gambling can become an addiction and if it does, there is hope and help.” She does not want another family to suffer the devastation of problem gambling that has impacted her family and so many others.
According to prevalence studies conducted by the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling, problem gambling affects approximately 80,000 adult Oregonians, and about one in four problem gamblers think about suicide. For those entering treatment last year, the Oregon Health Authority estimates their combined debt related to gambling at over $30 million.
“TAKE A BREAK” CAMPAIGN
Adapt’s Prevention & Education Program is participating in the “Take a Break” campaign to start the conversation about responsible gambling and promote problem gambling awareness among employers, family members and friends of those who may struggle with problem gambling. “We want to help spread the word that struggling with gambling is prevalent across Oregon and that there are resources for problem gambling treatment. In Oregon gambling treatment for individuals and families is free and confidential,” said Paige Hosford, Adapt’s Problem Gambling Prevention Coordinator.
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Adapt, Prevention & Education Program Contact, Paige Hosford, 541-492-0170