Treatment Seeking Among Ontario Problem Gamblers: Results of a Population Survey

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ObjectiveThis study examined help seeking for gambling concerns among people with different levels of gambling problems.MethodsOntario adults who had gambled more than $100 (N=4,217) and who screened positive for a possible gambling problem (N=1,205) were classified according to gambling problem severity and asked about their experiences with gambling treatment.ResultsOnly 6% of gamblers had ever accessed a service, including a self-help group or self-help materials. With self-help materials excluded, only 3% of gamblers (from 1% of those who met only the initial CLiP screening criteria to 53% of those with pathological gambling) had sought treatment for gambling.ConclusionsFew gamblers sought treatment for gambling problems; greater problem severity was associated with greater likelihood of using treatment, with self-help materials used most often. Further research is needed on why treatment seeking is low and on the effectiveness of self-help resources in reaching gamblers with problems in earlier stages. (Psychiatric Services 59:1343–1346, 2008)

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