Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2010

CONTACTS

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287
Steve Jung, State Committee on Problem Gambling, (402) 441-8854

Treatment is Available and Effective for Problem Gamblers

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month


Note: Print Fillers are available at http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/newsroom_downloads_printfillers.aspx
Sound bites on this topic are available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx

Lincoln – While gambling may be a fun activity, for a few people gambling can become a serious, life-altering problem that disrupts their lives.

“We want to raise awareness of the consequences of problem gambling and let people know resources are available for them and their families,” said Scot Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. “Gambling can be addictive, but you have the chance to help yourself or a family member. Call the Nebraska helpline at 800-522-4700.”

The Gamblers Assistance Program (GAP) in the Division focuses on reducing the negative impact of problem gambling in Nebraska. In FY 2008-09:

  • GAP provided approximately $700,000 for outpatient treatment services, serving approximately 250 people affected by gambling addictions.
  • Health professionals received over 500 hours of gambling-related training and education.
  • GAP contracted with over 15 entities to provide direct treatment, education, and helpline services to address gambling addictions in Nebraska.

“In order to make a positive impact in the community, we need to be sure that the individuals and families that are in need of our services can access them,” said Steve Jung, chairperson for the State Committee on Problem Gambling. “Treatment works, and it’s available in your area.”

Anyone can use the compulsive gambling helpline, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In FY 2008-09, the Helpline handled 2,133 calls, an average of 178 per month, providing information, crisis intervention, and referral services.

Information on gambling prevention and treatment programs is available by calling the national helpline at 1-800-522-4700. Free services funded by the Nebraska Lottery are available through the Gamblers Assistance Program. These services are not tax-funded.

A wide range of information on problem gambling services is also available by going to www.dhhs.ne.gov/behavioral_health/Pages/networkofcare_index.aspx.

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