Renz Addiction Counseling Center is offering free gambling assessments throughout March in recognition of Problem Gambling Awareness Month. This year’s theme, “Problem Gambling: Have the Conversation,” focuses on the importance of an open dialog and candid discussion about problem gambling.
“The time to have the conversation with a problem gambler is before it causes irreparable harm, such as deep financial loss,” said Renz Center Executive Director Jerry Skogmo. “When first approached, a compulsive gambler will often deny a problem exists, even lie about it. Take the next step by encouraging a gambling assessment, and let a certified gambling counselor determine if treatment is necessary.”
Renz Center is offering the free gambling assessments to help get the conversation started. All assessments will be held at Renz Center’s Two American Way facility in Elgin. Appointments for assessments are encouraged, but not necessary. Funds are available to subsidize treatment for eligible individuals.
The estimated national social cost to families and communities from bankruptcy, divorce, job loss, and criminal justice costs associated with problem gambling is $6.7 billion, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling. “Over 80% of adults nationally have gambled in the past year; 15% in the past week. Signs of a gambling problem include loss of interest and participation in normal activities with friends and families, unaccounted time loss, missing possessions or assets, and changes in attitude and personality. Gambling problems may also be evidenced by neglect of personal needs (such as food, utilities and medical), secrecy, avoidance when discussing time and money, and depression.
Renz Center provides a continuum of care dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of addictive behaviors related to alcohol, drugs, and gambling. Services range from prevention programs for youth in the schools to outpatient treatment programs for adolescents and adults. Priority is given to pregnant women and women with dependent children. Offices are located in Elgin, St. Charles, and Streamwood.
Renz Addiction Counseling Center is licensed by the state of Illinois for its adult and adolescent outpatient treatment programs. Renz Center is a non-profit organization funded in part by the federal government, Fox Valley United Way, the Illinois Department of Human Services, Hanover Township, Geneva, and St. Charles 708 Mental Health Boards and other local community organizations. To find out more about Renz Center’s programs, call 847-742-3545 or visit www.renzcenter.org.