September is Recovery Month


@RecoveryMonth is a national observance that raised awareness that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a substance use and/or mental health disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life. The primary focus of the observance is to celebrate those in recovery, just as we would those who are managing other health conditions. Recovery month supports the message that prevention works, treatment is effective, and Recovery is Beautiful.  

In recognition of Recovery Month, PGNO will post information on Facebook and Twitter about gambling and problem gambling. Please do your part in sharing your knowledge and experience with addiction through your personal stories and by sharing and retweeting PGNO's posts, so you can spread the information through your networks.

For additional information, visit

Ohio's "Be the 95%" Problem Gambling Awareness Campaign Sweeps Awards

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has announced that Ohio’s “Be the 95%” campaign has won all three campaign award categories for the upcoming July 13-16, 2016 conference. “Be the 95%” and the campaign website,, have won the Public Awareness Award, Social Media Award, and Website Award.

“For one campaign to win all three categories is unprecedented, and reflects the success of a great partnership like Ohio for Responsible Gaming that truly exceeds the sum of the individual component agencies,” NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte said. “Our vision is to lead state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling. This campaign represents a fantastic model for other states to follow to reduce the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.”

The campaign was designed by Columbus agency Origo Branding to appeal to a broad range of Ohio audiences with messages targeted toward the influencers of gamblers, such as moms, dads, spouses, siblings and friends. Marketing segments are aimed directly at the gambler him or herself, such as during March Madness season. The goal is to bring awareness and education on responsible and problem gambling, and to offer resources for help for those who need it.

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Director Tracy Plouck explained, “These national awards are a testament to the participatory relationship we have with the Casino Control and Lottery Commissions, as well as with the behavioral health system as a whole. All of their help during research, creative, and testing of the campaign resulted in ‘Be the 95%.’“

Ohio Lottery Director Dennis Berg added, “The Ohio Lottery has supported problem gambling outreach for more than 40 years, and we’re proud of the collaborative work now being done through Ohio for Responsible Gambling. The awards for the ‘Be the 95%’ campaign reflect the joint effort we’re utilizing to address the issue statewide.”

“These awards – and the success of ‘Be the 95%’ - are the direct result of Ohio’s unique approach to coordinating responsible gambling efforts by the Casino Control Commission, Ohio Lottery, and OhioMHAS,” said Jo Ann Davidson, Chair of the Ohio Casino Control Commission. “We are grateful that so many others involved in preventing problem gambling have taken note of our success and are interested in replicating ‘Be the 95%’ in their own communities.”

The campaign spreads the message, “If YOU gamble, be the 95% of people who gamble responsibly.” Based on results of the 2012 Ohio Gambling Survey, of Ohioans who gamble, 95% gamble responsibly. A call-to-action urges Ohioans to visit the website and take the quiz.

The quiz is a quick nine-question interactive tool that provides a measurement of whether the participant has no problem with gambling, or is at low to high risk of problem gambling behaviors. Nearly 7,000 people have taken the web-based quiz.

Statewide prevention partner Drug Free Action Alliance coordinates the campaign as a grantee for OhioMHAS. Funding from agency partners the Casino Control and Lottery Commissions supports the creation and marketing of the campaign to get the word out. At the community level, dozens of County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Boards and service provider agencies are using the resources in the online Community Toolkit to further spread the information.

To learn more, visit

OPEC Sessions of Specific Interest to Problem Gambling

The OPEC (Ohio Promoting Wellness & Recovery) Conference will be held June 27th-June 29th, 2016. The conference will offer sessions of specific interest to the field regarding Problem Gambling Prevention and building Community Readiness.

For additional information and To Register, visit:

Monday, June 27th  9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Smart Choices: A Gambling Prevention Program for Elementary Schools

Tristan Hall & Krysta Bennett
By understanding the risks of gambling, the Smart Choices Program strives to avoid giving participating youth any message that “normalizes” gambling in today’s society. The program focuses on decision making, life skills, risk taking and refusal skills. Preventionists and teachers are encouraged! 6 CEUs

Tuesday, June 28th  10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Fostering Community Engagement: Building a Problem Gambling Coalition   

Michael A. Buzzelli, Ashley Hartman, Colleen Fitzgibbons
In building a problem gambling coalition there will inevitably be bumps in the road. Creating interest in a professional/community body is difficult when the awareness of its topic is underwhelming at best. The session’s purpose is to discuss building blocks in creating a problem gambling coalition.  1.5 CEUs

Tuesday, June 28th  2:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Introducing Risky Business, a Gambling Prevention Program for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth

Dr. Josephine Wilson,  Judson Workman, Andrea Hoff  
Risky Business is a promising prevention program for youth most at-risk for problem gambling. Each of the six sessions lasts one hour, and topics include: decision making; violence prevention, gambling prevention, sexual risk prevention, and alcohol and drug prevention.  1.5 CEUs

Wednesday, June 29th  10:00 am – 11:30 am
Utilizing the Bystander Model for Problem Gambling Prevention

Colleen Fitzgibbons, Michael A. Buzzelli
Two Cleveland non-profits collaborated to create the Bystander Intervention Model, a successful, innovative training program that addresses three pertinent issues on college campus: substance abuse, mental health problems and sexual violence.  1.5 CEUs

Wednesday, June 29th  1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Using the Tri-Ethnic Model of Community Readiness to Address Important Issues in Ohio’s Communities      

Dr. Matthew Courser, Mary Haines
This session will present the Tri-Ethnic Center’s Community Readiness Model (CRM) as a tool for Ohio’s communities to assess readiness to address important issues. Participants will gain an understanding of how the CRM can contribute to their efforts and resources for implementing it in their communities.  1.5 CEUs

2016 Cuyahoga Problem Gambling Symposium

The Cuyahoga Problem Gambling Coalition is hosting the Second Annual Problem Gambling Symposium: Advancing Awareness, Prevention & Treatment in Our Community. The symposium will be held on Friday, June 17th from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging located at 11890 Fairhill Rd., Cleveland, OH 44120.

The symposium will raise awareness of problem gambling, offer clinical trainings to increase problem gambling treatment capacity locally, and provide individuals and families with the tools and resources to respond to problem gambling in their life.

Speakers will include clinical experts, people who have been affected by problem gambling, problem gambling prevention professionals and representatives from the gaming industry.

The cost is only $10.00 and includes five continuing education hours for social workers, counselors, marriage family therapists, chemical dependency professionals and nationally certified gambling counselors.

If you are new to the issue of problem gambling, or a seasoned professional, there will be opportunities at the symposium for you!

For additional information, contact Ashley Hartman at or 216.431.4131 ext. 1108

Register at


FDA Warning: Uncontrollable Urges to Gamble with Abilify

The Division of Drug Information (DDI)- serving the public by providing information on human drug products and drug product regulation by FDA.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that compulsive or uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop, and have sex have been reported with the use of the antipsychotic drug aripiprazole (Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Aristada, and generics). These uncontrollable urges were reported to have stopped when the medicine was discontinued or the dose was reduced. These impulse-control problems are rare, but they may result in harm to the patient and others if not recognized.

Although pathological gambling is listed as a reported side effect in the current aripiprazole drug labels, this description does not entirely reflect the nature of the impulse-control risk that we identified. In addition, we have become aware of other compulsive behaviors associated with aripiprazole, such as compulsive eating, shopping, and sexual actions. These compulsive behaviors can affect anyone who is taking the medicine. As a result, we are adding new warnings about all of these compulsive behaviors to the drug labels and the patient Medication Guides for all aripiprazole products.

Patients and caregivers should be alert for uncontrollable and excessive urges and behaviors while taking aripiprazole. It is important to talk with a health care professional as soon as possible if you or a family member experiences any of these uncontrollable urges, in order to prevent or limit possible harm. Patients should not suddenly stop taking their aripiprazole medicine without first talking to their health care professional.

Health care professionals should make patients and caregivers aware of the risk of these uncontrollable urges when prescribing aripiprazole, and specifically ask patients about any new or increasing urges while they are being treated with aripiprazole. Closely monitor for new or worsening uncontrollable urges in patients at higher risk for impulse-control problems. These include those with a personal or family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder, impulse-control disorder, bipolar disorder, impulsive personality, alcoholism, drug abuse, or other addictive behaviors. Consider reducing the dose or stopping the medicine if such urges develop.

For more information, please visit: aripiprazole

If you have comments or questions, please contact us at: 1-888-INFO FDA (1-888-463-6332) or (301) 796-3400 from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm ET Monday - Friday.  You can also email

30th National Conference on Problem Gambling

The 30th National Conference on Problem Gambling, hosted by the National Council on Problem Gambling will be held July 15-16, 2016 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, New York. The Early-bird registration ends May 15, 2016. The pre-conference will be July 13-14, 2016. 

NCPG members receive a $100 discount off of the conference registration and problem gambling professionals can become a joint PGNO/NCPG Member for only $85.

The membership pays for itself! Download the Membership Form at

Conference Highlights:

  • 100+ Presenters
  • 60+ Presentations
  • 36 Breakout Sessions
  • 31 CEUs
  • 6 Plenary Sessions

The Conference Features Four Unique Tracks:

  • Treatment
  • Prevention
  • Recovery & Community
  • Responsible Gaming & Regulation

About Tarrytown

Named by Forbes’ Magazine as one of “America’s Prettiest Towns,” Tarrytown, New York is just 25 miles north of midtown Manhattan. Close to the bright lights of Broadway, and rich in culture, history and charm, Tarrytown is the choice for NCPG’s 30th Anniversary Conference.

Located on the shores of the majestic Hudson River, the historic village of Tarrytown is a lively community with a charming downtown anchored by the 125-year-old Tarrytown Music Hall, our Friday Night Highlight Event venue this year.

Take some time to explore nearby historic homes, including Kykuit: the Rockefeller Estate; the Union Church of Pocantico Hills with stained glass by Henri Matisse; and Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. Yes, Washington Irving, whose The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is set in the village just north of Tarrytown. If you enjoy the outdoors, spend time in the beautiful countryside by visiting the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, or take in the majestic Hudson along the Scenic Hudson Riverwalk.

Have the Conversation with Media

Have the Conversation with Media

One of the greatest challenges related to problem gambling is low community awareness. Take a moment to have the conversation and let those you connect with understand that gambling doesn't just affect individuals, but also their families and the larger community.

Read More

Have the Conversation with Other Professionals

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, which reminds problem gambling professionals to Have the Conversation with those they encounter. Having the conversation doesn't have to be greatly detailed or elaborate. It involves mentioning something that you hear or see. 

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, I also work part-time at Macy's, a job that I've had and (mostly) loved for 16 years. I was speaking to the store manager about PGNO and the efforts in Ohio related to the Be the 95% campaign. She acknowledged that she understood the reason for the efforts, but she said that she hadn't noticed any messaging to address it. Fast forward about two weeks and she came up to me and said, "since we had our conversation, I've seen all kinds of commercials and billboards. I must have tuned them out before". 

So often, we are only aware of what we need to be. How often do you go on Facebook and never notice the ads that are trying so hard to get your attention? By having the conversation, I was able to raise her awareness about the important work being done in Ohio.

One of the biggest challenges we face related to problem gambling involves a lack of community awareness. 

Celebrate Problem Gambling Awareness Month - Have the Conversation!

Derek Longmeier, Executive Director
The Problem Gambling Network of Ohio

For additional resources, visit

Have the Conversation with Friends & Family

Have the Conversation with Friends & Family

One of the biggest challenges we face related to problem gambling involves a lack of community knowledge that gambling can be a problem that not only impacts the individual gambler, but also their family, friends and communities.

Celebrate Problem Gambling Awareness Month - Have the Conversation!


Read More