I may be one of the most active proponents of gambling but it does not mean that I overlook the negative side of this pastime.  I do realize that gambling is not for everyone and I am not pushing it down anybody’s throat.  And I also realize that there are some people who have a hard time controlling their gambling urges.  That is why I have no qualms at all about writing about this new service that the state of New York is offering.

Dubbed 1-877-8-HOPENY, this is a new hotline that the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) is offering people who are in need of help.  Here is part of the press release with the pertinent information:

State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo today unveiled a new toll-free telephone hopeline service 1-877-8-HOPENY offering help for alcoholism, drug abuse or problem gambling.

The new hopeline, which takes effect starting Feb. 1, offers assistance from clinically trained professionals on a confidential basis 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Commissioner Carpenter-Palumbo announced the new service at the annual conference of the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State, Inc. (ASAP), January 26.

The 1-877-8-HOPENY service is a consolidation of two former toll-free lines which have been operating in New York: 800-437-1611 for problem gambling calls and 800-522-5353 for chemical dependence. These two lines handled more than 25,000 calls a year from New Yorkers in need of services and those lines will roll over to the new service for at least six months. With now one call to make, individuals can receive comprehensive information and referrals for alcohol, drugs and gambling problems combined.

I am hoping – fervently at that – that you will never be in need of this service but if you do, or you know someone who might, then do not hesitate to avail of it!

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