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Gambling Treatment Works

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), in partnership with the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Social and Behavioral Research, has released the 2009 annual comprehensive Gambling Treatment Outcomes study of problem gamblers who receive publicly funded treatment services.

"The study provides clear evidence that treatment is effective at helping problem gamblers," said IDPH Gambling Treatment Program coordinator Mark Vander Linden. "Treatment has been a great resource for thousands of Iowans and should give hope to Iowans currently struggling with gambling problems."

The study found Iowans who participate in treatment have important improvements in their lives. Most notably:

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* Six months following treatment, 95 percent of respondents that completed treatment report they had reduced or quit problem gambling behaviors.

* While 41 percent of people entering treatment said they had been late paying their bills, by discharge that number dropped to 21percent.

* Six months after leaving treatment, 99 percent of respondents rated treatment as "good" or "excellent" and 93 percent said they would recommend treatment to a friend or family member with a gambling problem.

There is increasing evidence of problem gambling as a public health issue. Problem gambling has a profound impact on the health and well-being of the individual and can have significant consequences for families, friends and communities.