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Problem Gambling Grows with Expanding Risks

Tuesday, March 21, 2023
NewBridge Services offers a compulsive gambling treatment program in Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties

Problem gambling is increasing with growth in online betting.Gambling is growing, and with it, the number of people struggling to stay in control. The National Council on Problem Gambling estimated the risk rose 30 percent between 2018 and 2021. Calls to the national hotline increased 45% between 2021 and 2022.

“There are a lot of people who don’t realize they have a compulsive gambling problem,” NewBridge CEO Michelle Borden said. Despite effective treatment for problem gambling, only one in 10 people with gambling disorder seek treatment.

Signs of Problem Gambling

Most people who gamble don’t develop a problem. According to the National Institutes of Health, signs of problem gambling include:

  • Always thinking about gambling
  • Lying about gambling
  • Spending work or family time gambling
  • Feeling bad after you gamble, but not quitting
  • Gambling with money you need for other things

It’s estimated that 1 in 20 adults in the U.S. will struggle with gambling in their lifetime. It can lead to financial ruin, failed relationships, and hopelessness.

NewBridge’s Program Serves Those with Dual Diagnosis

NewBridge Services runs a compulsive gambling treatment program for people who also struggle with substance use disorder or mental illness. It is part of a state-led effort for individuals with a dual disorder of compulsive gambling and substance use, or problem gambling and a mental health disorder. NewBridge’s program serves residents of Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties.

“Gambling is more common among people challenged by substance abuse or other mental health concerns,” said Derk Replogle, NewBridge’s director of Addiction Services. Replogle noted 1 in 3 people with a substance use disorder also struggle with gambling. 

“We are committed to developing effective treatment plans tailored for each client,” Replogle said. Client-centered goal development is central to the treatment, which involves individual therapy and education, group therapy, a psychiatric evaluation, medication management and counseling for co-occurring disorders. Through case management, participants will receive care coordination for community supports.

NewBridge received funding from the New Jersey Department of Human Services to train staff who already have expertise in substance use therapy in the treatment of chronic gambling.

For more information, email services@newbridge.org or call (973) 316-9333.

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