(TRENTON) – Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman yesterday announced the Department has awarded contracts to begin providing treatment and case management for individuals with a dual disorder of gambling and substance use.
“The tragic impact of the opioid epidemic and other forms of substance use are too apparent, sadly,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “The World Health Organization added gaming disorders as an identifiable health disorder, and too often gambling and substance use go together. We want to help rebuild – and save – lives by improving gambling counseling skills across New Jersey while also promoting the therapeutic approaches that can bring about positive outcomes.”
The initiative involves two aspects:
· A program to provide robust training and consultation services with the goal of full implementation of gambling counseling practices within agencies across New Jersey that offer substance use disorder services. The services will include needs assessment, training, ongoing consultation, workshops, supervised practice, learning communities, coaching and feedback. The program will be provided by Rutgers University.
· A gambling disorder clinician program to provide treatment and case management for individuals with a dual disorder of gambling and substance use. The program will also be open to individuals with a co-occurring mental health disorder. These clinical services will be provided by the treatment agencies identified below.
The services are expected to start in January.
“Cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing are proven effective in treating gambling disorders and substance use disorders, and these will be very comprehensive programs,” said Assistant Commissioner Valerie Mielke, who directs Human Services’ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “The providers will also work with individuals to help with issues that can often occur with gambling disorders, such as financial difficulties, broken relationships, legal issues and the need for social services.”
“We’re committed to strengthening and saving lives by reaching all those in need,” Acting Commissioner Adelman said. “I also continue to urge anyone needing substance use help to call 1-844-ReachNJ because treatment works and recovery is attainable. I also urge those seeking help with problem gambling, or those concerned with a loved one’s problem gambling, to call 1-800-Gambler.”