Maine DHHS Press / News Release

February 27, 2019

Annual Conference on Problem Gambling to Highlight Links to Opioid Use Disorders

Making the Connection

AUGUSTA, Maine - March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, a time to bring attention to a silent addiction that can affect over 2 million Americans. While gambling is a source of entertainment for many, it can become a devastating problem for some.

Maine's annual conference on Problem Gambling Awareness will be held on Wednesday, March 6 at the Four Points Sheraton in Bangor. The focus of this year's conference is the intersection of problem gambling and opioid use disorders (OUD). Many people who suffer from substance use disorders also develop problems with gambling.

This year's keynote speaker is Christopher J. Welsh, M.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine. He will speak about the opioid epidemic, problem gambling, effective treatment, and the intersection of opioids and problematic gambling.

Nancy Murray, Rhode Island's Problem Gambling Program Manager, will speak about the similarities and differences between gambling disorders and opiate use disorders. "The research indicates problem gamblers show opioid-related brain changes. In order to effectively treat patients with opioid addiction, we should be screening them for gambling patterns and providing them, at a minimum, with education and interventions," she noted.

The event is hosted by the Maine Council on Problem Gambling and AdCare Educational Institute in collaboration with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are a social worker, treatment provider, prevention provider or anyone else interested in problem gambling, prevention, intervention or treatment and recovery, contact AdCare to register for this event at (207) 621-2549 or

To get help for a gambling problem, for you or a loved one, dial 2-1-1 in Maine.