The pressures of spending time with family, buying gifts, and other holiday responsibilities can be a bit much for someone with a gambling problem.

Rose Gruber, head of the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, says the high expectations of giving gifts and family functions can add stress for those with an addiction, which can lead to a vicious cycle of someone going out and losing even more money. She says family and friends who know about someone with an addiction should help them avoid triggers that might encourage them to gamble, such as giving lottery tickets as a gift.

Gruber says the holidays can also be a time when people realize they have a problem or family members want to help a loved one kick their habit. In those cases, she says the Council is there with help available at all times. The group operates a hot line at 1-800-GAMBLE-5 this is available day and night for those looking for resources to help overcome a gambling addiction.

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