John Brooks Recovery Center launches gambling addiction treatment program | Local News

As opportunities to gamble expand across the country, so too are programs that treat gambling addictions.

The John Brooks Recovery Center is now offering a program to treat people with a gambling addiction, the center said this week in a news release.

Patients admitted to the program must be diagnosed with a co-occurring substance-use disorder.

Staff at the Brooks center, which has locations in Atlantic City, Mays Landing and Pleasantville, is providing its gambling treatment at multiple locations.

“There is a Gambling Treatment Program at our residential facility in Mays Landing, as well as our outpatient sites in Pleasantville and Atlantic City,” Brooks center CEO Michael Santillo said. “We also plan to treat clients in the Atlantic County jail.”

The state Department of Human Services is funding the program through a grant awarded by its Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Only 10 organizations in the state were selected for the program, with the Brooks center being the only program selected in Atlantic County.

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Clinical Services Supervisor Kenneth Litwak, a gambling counselor certified by the International Gambling Counselor Certification Board, is leading the program.

Santillo praised Litwak as especially qualified for the position.

“Litwak is one of approximately 20 internationally certified gambling counselors in New Jersey and is only one of 10 individuals who are Level Two certified,” Santillo said.

The gambling program offers one-on-one counseling, group counseling and psychoeducation counseling.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling has named the Brooks center as a treatment provider on its 1-800-GAMBLER network.

“This is a fee for service grant that will allow up to 26 sessions of treatment in a 12-month period,” Litwak said. “This grant allows for the treatment of loved ones of people with a gambling problem, not just the problem gambler . This contract provides funds that can be used for residential or outpatient treatment and can even be used for internet gaming disorder.”

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About 2 million people in the United States have a gambling addiction, according to an report cited in the release.

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