Letter: Portage County offers free resources for problem gambling

It’s hard not to notice all the advertisements and news stories about the new sports betting law that took effect in Ohio this year. The sports betting companies seem to be surrounding their ad campaigns around ‘risk free’ betting. This may be of ‘low risk’ in terms of an individual placing their first bet, but it may pose a high risk in leading to addiction problems and financial and mental health concerns.

There are multiple studies showing the correlation between gambling and sports betting and the negative impact on an individual’s overall mental health, including problems with depression, anxiety, suicide and other addictive disorders.

There is a free online gambling screening available on the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County’s website (www.mental-health-recovery.org) to see if treatment should be sought.

Townhall II is a local Portage County agency that provides gambling addiction treatment. In addition to in person counseling, they are offering Ohio’s first online gambling treatment group open to any Ohio resident at no cost. Call 330-678-3006 for more information.

John F. Garrity, Executive Director, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County

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