Problem Gambling & Gambling Addiction Treatment in Minnesota

Did you know gambling treatment is free to any Minnesotan who needs it?

About 10 years ago the Center for Alcohol & Drug Treatment began offering outpatient treatment for people who had developed a gambling problem. At one time, pathological (problem) gambling was considered a mental health problem, but research confirmed that for some people, gambling is a true addiction.

The definition of addiction has been updated based mainly on research in brain science. Repeatedly pursuing any rewarding experience despite serious repercussions is now considered evidence of an addiction. The 12 step recovery community was way ahead of the science – Gamblers Anonymous (GA) has been around since 1957!

Quite a few of our clients in gambling treatment are people in long-term recovery from alcohol or drug addictions. It turns out that people who are vulnerable to drug and alcohol addictions are also vulnerable to gambling addiction.

Because no drug or alcohol intoxication are involved and opportunities for gambling (lottery, casino, online) are now everywhere, gambling addiction can often develop without even immediate family members being aware of a problem until considerable damage has already happened. The effect on personal, family and business finances is usually devastating and it can take a lifetime to repair the damage. This may be why the suicide rate among problem gamblers is higher than any other addiction.

Gamblers, like many drug users, are risk takers. The addiction is not about winning or losing – it seems to be the risk itself that is the reward. The bottom line is that gambling addiction is every bit as damaging as any drug or alcohol addiction and recovery a difficult and challenging journey.

The good news is that there is no risk, financial or otherwise, to seek help from our gambling treatment providers in the Duluth area. It’s free. It’s local. It works!

Find out if you or someone you love has a problem with gambling.

Gary Olson
Executive Director

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