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Mar 15, 2016
by: Sarah Pierce
Having the Conversation with Gambling Disorder Clinicians

With this year’s theme of National Problem Gambling Awareness Month being “Have the Conversation about Problem Gambling” we thought we’d get the conversation going with some professionals in the field of gambling disorder treatment.

Dr. Heather Chapman was first introduced to the world of gambling disorder treatment in 1990 while working as a research assistant at the Cleveland VA.

“I bumped into it here at the national VA gambling treatment program,” Dr. Chapman said. “I worked with a few people and really found it compelling, as process addictions had a different feel than chemical addictions; did an internship with the program then later joined the team.”

Lisa Starek, a clinician at Recovery Resources, is entering the field of problem gambling treatment not only because she believed it would be a good career move for her but also because she knows people who gamble.

“I wanted to learn more about why and what leads to people being unable to gamble responsibly and how I could be of help” Starek said.

Recovery Resources is one of the few providers in Cuyahoga County to specialize in gambling services. Gambling assessments can help determine if you or another has a gambling problem. If help is needed, Recovery Resources’ certified gambling counselors are available to provide individual, couple, and/or family counseling, which can help problem gamblers and their loved ones learn the skills that are needed to address gambling addiction. These services are free for the gambler and family members.

Recovery Resources is also a leading provider of state-wide gambling addiction providers in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Recovery Resources has trained over 40 clinicians around the state this year alone.

Commonly-used treatment modalities used for by clinicians for gambling addiction include Motivational Interviewing, Harm-Reduction and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Another option for people suffering from gambling addiction is to join the exclusion list. This program offers individuals the ability to ban themselves from a casino facility for one year, five years or their lifetime. There are over 1,000 people on the Ohio exclusion list. For more information, click here!

The National Council for Problem Gambling (NCPG) encourages everyone to Have the Conversation about Problem Gambling. Most adults gamble or know someone who gambles, and therefore could benefit from programs to prevent gambling addiction.

The National Council believes many who suffer in silence do so because they don’t know why they developed a problem, what gambling addiction is or where to get help. To learn more, check out the NCPG’s website by clicking here or Ohio for Responsible Gambling by clicking here!

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