MARQUETTE, me. (WLUC) – It's not just slot machines and table games anymore.
"Gambling has now been legalized in the state of Michigan to be accessible online and for sports betting," said Alia Lucas, a gambling disorder treatment and prevention specialist for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
That means you can play anywhere at your fingertips.
"One of the biggest obstacles we currently face in treating gambling disorder is the fact that many people don't see this as an addiction – they see it as an impulse."
However, Lucas said that gambling can be an addiction – and there are warning signs.
“When you lie about the time you spend gambling, when you use money that is used for other purposes, when you say you have to gamble again because you are now losing money. ”
Now the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is raising awareness through increased media campaigns, statewide training, better access to treatment, and education of parents about what gambling disorders look like in children.
"We are also cautious about the correlation – especially for teenagers – with gaming and gambling," she said.
And around 66 percent of people who are affected by substance abuse also gamble.
Lucas said gambling addiction could even be fatal.
"Of all addictions, gambling disorder suicidal death is the most common."
If you or someone you know needs help with gaming disruptions, you can call the 27/4 toll-free hotline at 1-800-270-7117.
March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is hosting free online workshops open to all from March 4-5.
To learn more about these workshops, visit the Michigan Community Mental Health Association website here.
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