PHASE offers program in Rockford, Belvidere for compulsive gamblers

By Susan Johnson

Copy Editor

PHASE, a local nonprofit professional addiction treatment program, is offering  outpatient treatment for substance and gambling addiction at its two facilities in Rockford and Belvidere.

Are you or a loved one struggling with a gambling problem? It’s never too late to take control of your situation. Call PHASE, Inc., for an assessment, and you will be connected with a caring, trained counselor.

Cheryl Hollembeak, CADC (Certified Alcohol & Drug Addictions Counselor) at the Belvidere PHASE office, spoke with The Rock River Times.

I’ve talked to people at the Illinois Gambling Association, and they said that’s normal growth,

she said.
This is a really hard population to target. They’ll call, and if you put them on hold, they’ll get off the line. Gamblers are very impulsive. Because of that impulsivity, they are at very high risk for suicide, more so than substance abusers. So we constantly assess the ones we have for suicidal tendencies. Also, since the economy has taken a dip, I’m getting more calls from family members. I have a couple people right now scheduled for assessment. The first weekend in September, we are going to add to our assessment.

PHASE obtained some statistics from the Illinois Department of Human Services, which the treatment organization shared with us.

More than 80 percent of U.S. adults have reportedly gambled at least once in the past year and have done so responsibly. Approximately 1 percent of adults (2 million individuals), however, meet the criteria of a pathological gambler. Another 2 to 3 percent have less significant, yet, serious, problems with their gambling.—National Council on Problem Gambling, March 2003

A major depressive disorder is likely to occur in 76 percent of pathological gamblers.—B.K. Unwin, M.K. Davis, and J.B. Leeuw,
Pathological gambling,

American Family Physician, February 2000

In a study of gamblers enrolled in a treatment program, 10 percent considered and formulated plans to commit suicide within six months of enrollment to treatment.—Thomas L. Moore, Ph.D., Gambling Treatment Programs Evaluation Update, 2002

Family members and/or significant others affected by negative consequences of problem gambling can access treatment and funding even if the gambler is unwilling to participate in treatment.

Anita Bedell, executive director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems (ILCAAAP), Springfield, Ill., added,
The average cost to society per pathological gambler per year is $13,586. As gambling expands, we get more gambling addicts, and the cost to the state and society increases.

From the September 9-15, 2009 issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!