Treatment beneficial for gambling addicts - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Treatment beneficial for gambling addicts

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by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- A new study shows that gambling treatment might be more beneficial then previously thought. The Iowa Department of Public Health along with the University of Northern Iowa released the findings, which show treatment is effective in helping problem gamblers.

With casinos in every corner of the state people have every opportunity to feed their addiction, but along with more casinos there is also more people seeking help.

Jewel Cooper has been a Gambling Treatment Counselor for more than 15 years.

"We're seeing an increase in not only the treatment hours, but the number of hours we're spending treating family members of a compulsive gambler," said Cooper.

According to the report six months after treatment 95 percent of people say they reduced or quit problem gambling behaviors. Also 99 percent of people rated treatment as good or excellent and 93 percent said they would recommend treatment to a friend or family member with a gambling problem.

"Inwardly the things that are much more difficult to measure, has the quality of my relationships improved, do I feel better about myself because I'm honest and following the things I'm going to say I'm going to do," said Cooper.

There is no quick fix to a gambling addition, for those seeking treatment it make take some time.

"It's a chronic long term ongoing illness just like someone with diabetes or other long term illness. It's going to need attention for the rest of your life not as intensely or acute attention as you need at the beginning," Cooper said.

Iowan's seeking help for gambling problems, regardless of their ability to pay can call 1-800-bets-off to receive immediate help.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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