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Free counselling available to gamblers in rural Alberta

For most people, gambling is a harmless bit of entertainment, but for some people, it can turn into an unhealthy obsession with negative consequences.
Gambling is a problem if it causes financial stress, puts a strain on your relationships, or interferes with your job.
Regardless of what you bet on (roulette, poker, slots, sports or scratch cards) or where (on-line, in a casino, or at the track), if gambling causes you to feel like you can’t stop, or to act in ways that make you feel ashamed (like stealing money), it’s a problem.
Like most things, you don’t have to be totally out of control to have a gambling problem.
If gambling preoccupies you, if you find yourself spending more and more time and money on it, chasing your losses, or continuing to gamble despite negative impacts on your life, you have a gambling problem.
But there is hope.
With the right help, you can overcome your gambling problem and reclaim your life.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, there is free counselling available for rural Albertans with gambling problems.
The University of Lethbridge is providing free counselling to rural and remote adults who have a problem with gambling.
The counselling is delivered for free, via the Internet.
Participants get 12 weeks of counselling, with up to three sessions per week.
Participants who complete the program usually stop gambling.
University of Lethbridge Master of Addictions Counselling students provide the counselling under the supervision of University of Lethbridge faculty members.
Participants with gambling problems are randomly offered one of two counselling and treatment types, and may be eligible to receive gift cards for participating.
Participants must have access to a device that can access the Internet (like a computer, tablet or cell phone).
The study is supported by the CRISM Prairie node, a network of addiction service providers and researchers, and the Alberta Rural Development Network, a not-for-profit organization focused on capacity building and creating opportunities for rural Albertans.
If you are interested in participating or learning more, contact Dr. Darren Christensen at 403-329-5124 or darren.christensen@uleth.ca.

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