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Day 3: Betting on a Cure

January 20, 1993

Undated (AP) _ Compulsive gambling, whether it involves sports, casinos, lotteries, poker machines or any other game, is an addiction that can be treated.

The national Compulsive Gambling Hotline (1-800-332-0402) offers information about treatment, makes referrals to professional providers and self-help groups, and provides crisis counseling services.

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of recovering compulsive gamblers who follow a 12-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous. It has more than 800 chapters in the United States and another 600 outside.

Harbour Center in Baltimore, operated by the Compulsive Gambling Center, (1-410-332-1111) offers residential care, intensive day care, outpatient therapy, relapse prevention and after-care. It also trains professionals, runs the national hotline, and provides a meeting place for Gamblers Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Washington Center for Pathological Gambling in College Park, Md., (1-301-345-6623) has medical and mental health professionals who offer individual and family support services for the addicted gambled. It provides inpatient and outpatient care, crisis intervention, counseling to employers and assistance with legal and financial problems.

The New Hope Foundation in Marlboro, N.J., (1-908-946-3030) is one of the few facilities offering in-house treatment for compulsive gamblers. It began treating compulsive gambling in 1988 and offers a 28-day program of counseling, group therapy and addiction education.

State-sponsored treatment programs most often are limited to outpatient counseling for the gambler and family members. New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Texas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Ohio and Iowa have set aside funds for gambling education and treatment.

Some Veterans Administration medical centers offer gambling treatment programs.