If your gambling has gotten out of control, there's free help to take you out of your misery.
The Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling offers intensive outpatient treatment, residential treatment, and one-on-one counseling.
The Center for Recovery is the non-profit’s residential treatment facility. It’s a 36-day program for adults. The program is free to Louisiana residents, but out of state patients have to pay $6,000 to enroll.
Counselors said oftentimes, it's hard for people to decipher when gambling has become problematic.
“A person who would identify themselves as a compulsive gambler, they’re maybe missing out on work,” said Heather Kleckinger-Craven.
“They're missing out on family events. They are gambling until their last dollar is gone. Or they're getting overdraft charges on their checking account or they're borrowing or pawning or getting loans to pay off debts."
If you are debating seeking help, call the Louisiana Problem Gamblers Helpline at 1-877-770-7867. You
can also text "NO BET" to 66746.
The helpline is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by trained personnel. The hardest part for them is answering calls two to three times a week with people threatening to commit suicide.
“It’s an emotional experience,” said Robyn Filler, the Helpline Program Coordinator. “ It's tough, but we know how to handle it. I don’t think people are expecting the real solutions. I can talk to you today and have you talking to an inpatient counselor that night. “
The Louisiana Problem Gamblers Helpline has taken more than a half a million calls since 2000.
In that same time, CORE has treated more than 2,600 patients, with a 78 percent success rate.