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Valley HealthCare System Works with Problem Gambler Health Network

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MORGANTOWN -

Around nine million Americans struggle with a gambling problem every day, according to the Problem Gamblers Health Network.

The Problem Gamblers Health Network of West Virginia works hand in hand with Valley HealthCare System in Morgantown to show people with not only gambling, but other addictions, that there is help available.

"Valley is involved and has identified therapists who are trained in how to address gambling issues for folks," said Nancy Deming, the Chemical Dependency Director at Valley HealthCare Systems. "And because our therapists are also, we have addiction therapists, they can help with other problems that are related to the gambling itself."

The Problem Gamblers Health Network said a person's surroundings are related to addiction, but other factors can also affect an addict's behavior.

"I had a caller to the help line not too long ago who was a lady from Southern West Virginia who had started taking medication for early on set Parkinson's disease," said Patty Deutsch,  program director for The Problem Gamblers Help Network of WV. "That medication actually triggered something, the dopamine receptors in her brain, and she started buying scratch off lottery tickets on a daily basis. Large numbers of the, $25 a day, that's something that of course medication triggered. It wasn't something that was in her history."

There are steps you can follow to combat any addiction: Identify your problem, ask for help, look for a counselor, then have the counselor help you make a plan and stick to it.

A first step can include calling the gamblers hotline. Valley HealthCare takes a hotline caller from a free assessment to the counseling portion of recovery.

"We have therapists that are trained to provide the therapy," Deming said. "It's a component of assessment and referral. We're a place that receives the referrals as well. Since we're comprehensive in our nature we can kind of address larger issues that might come up."

If you think you might have a gambling addiction call the 1-800-Gambler hotline. If you're having trouble with another type of addiction get in touch with Valley HealthCare Systems by calling the 24 hour crisis number at 1-800-232-0020.