Call the Helpline 1-800-522-4700 and speak with someone who understands and can get you to the help you may need.
The Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling (the Center) operates the Problem Gambling Helpline, with the Maryland Council on Problem Gambling, under a grant from the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration. All calls are confidential, free and helpline specialists will refer callers to the closest self-help meeting or the closest available clinical care opportunity.
Anyone calling the National Problem Gambling Helpline from a Maryland area code will automatically be connected to our helpline service system. A masters level clinician from the Center will answer all calls during working hours and the National Helpline Service will cover all off hour calls.
All calls to the Maryland Problem Gambling Helpline are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All help-seeking callers speak to a live operator who can refer callers to local self-help meetings such as Gamblers Anonymous and GamAnon. They also maintain a list of counselors with training and experience in treating problem gamblers and their family members and can make referrals to callers interested in counseling services in their area.
Many family members and friends find information, referrals, help and hope for their loved ones with gambling problems by making this first call to our trained Helpline specialists. All Helpline Specialists are specially trained, with either a Master’s degree or certification.
The Center also offers clinical training programs for state and private agencies interested in providing gambling specific training for their clinical staff (see training). These programs may be offered as a one hour in service education program on problem gambling awareness, a one or two day training on problem gambling treatment fundamentals, or up to 30 hrs. (for national Level I certification or a full 60 hours for national Level II certification). Details on national gambling counselor certification can be found at www.IGCCB.org.
Calls can be answered with TTY and in over 160 languages with the use of the AT&T language line. Callers are also offered written materials on problem gambling if they elect to accept such a mailing. All materials are sent in plain envelopes to the address provided by the caller.
The Center hopes to increase public awareness about problem gambling by offering a Speakers Bureau on a variety of problem gambling topics. A clearing house on books, brochures, literature, CD’s and DVD’s, articles, and posters is also being established at the Center office for the recovery, treatment and research communities.
Prevention materials will also be available in the Center’s clearing house for those county prevention specialists working with fifth grade to 12th grade or college level students.