The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling Receives the Distinguished Program Award at the 2008 National Council on Problem Gambling Conference

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The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (FCCG) has received the Distinguished Program Award for its program, Dealing with Addiction. The award recognizes the FCCG for their exceptional effort to establish advocacy for problem gamblers in the state of Florida. Pat Fowler accepted the award on behalf of the Council.

A network of Gambling specific certified professionals across the state will ensure that problem and compulsive gamblers receive the treatment that they deserve and will ensure that problem gambling is no longer overlooked when someone is seeking treatment Gambling addiction is a treatable disorder when assistance is sought and accessible.

The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (FCCG) has received the Distinguished Program Award for its program, Dealing with Addiction. The award recognizes the FCCG for their exceptional effort to establish advocacy for problem gamblers in the state of Florida. Pat Fowler accepted the award on behalf of the Council.

Over 750,000 Florida residents have experienced serious to severe gambling problems at some point in their lives. Thousands more are adversely affected. According to Fowler, "Problem gamblers and loved ones suffer from a multitude of mental health issues, yet rarely do addiction and mental health professionals draw a connection between the two or even inquire about gambling behaviors in their clients. However, research demonstrates that 10-30% of people seeking treatment for substance abuse are also problem gamblers."

The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling's (FCCG) Dealing with Addiction program is a look into the complex world of cross-addiction, featuring the presence of problem gambling intermingled with substance abuse, and mental health issues. A joint effort by the FCCG and the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, Dealing with Addiction arms treatment professionals with the resources to recognize, assess, and advise patients in their care that may also suffer from problem gambling. The toolkit, which is designed on a mini-DVD, contains assessment screens, a PowerPoint presentation geared towards service providers on cross addiction, a compelling and insightful 15-minute video presenting persons recovering from gambling, drug, and alcohol addiction, and experienced clinicians in the field, along with research and FCCG newsletters addressing the topics of intervention and recovery.

Since the creation of the toolkit, more than 1,500 treatment professionals and prevention specialists have requested and received the free information, as have nearly 300 different organizations. This awareness has positively impacted upon mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals in Florida, many of whom are now working to obtain the Florida credential to become a Certified Gambling Addictions Counselor. "A network of Gambling specific certified professionals across the state will ensure that problem and compulsive gamblers receive the treatment that they deserve and will ensure that problem gambling is no longer overlooked when someone is seeking treatment Gambling addiction is a treatable disorder when assistance is sought and accessible." The FCCG provides a 24-hour, free and confidential HelpLine (888-ADMIT-IT) for persons needing information or assistance for problems related to gambling.

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