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Newsroom State Offers Help For Kansans Struggling with Addictions

Topeka - Addictions can devastate a family and severely impact friends and employers.  A National Research Council study found that many families of pathological gamblers suffer from a variety of financial, physical, and emotional problems, including divorce, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect.

Beginning February 1, 2011, Kansas will be able to offer assistance to individuals and the families of individuals who have addictions, paid for by a percentage of the funds generated by the first state owned casino gaming in the country.

“Addictions can ruin a family’s well-being,” said the Acting Secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Rob Siedlecki.  “When legislation passed in 2007 allowing Kansas to operate state owned gaming, 2% of the revenues generated by the casino were designated to be placed in the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund.  Since that time, sufficient revenues have been generated and program providers have been certified to assist those Kansans who have become problem gamblers or suffer from other addictions.”

Beginning February 1, a total of 35 Kansas Certified Gambling Counselors within the ValueOptions, Kansas network can be reimbursed for providing counseling to Kansans with gambling problems and their families.  While the legislation establishing the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund became effective in 2007, revenues to the fund were not generated until the Boot Hill Casino and Resort in Dodge City opened in December 2009.  Between December 2009 and December 2010, the Kansas Lottery reports the casino generated $39.8 million in gambling revenue.  Approximately $80,000 will be available during the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 to provide treatment for as many as 57 Kansans and their families statewide dealing with an addiction.

“If you have an addiction like a gambling problem, or if your family is being damaged by a loved one that has an addiction, please get help,” said Acting Secretary Siedlecki. “You can get confidential, no cost assistance by calling the Kansas Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700 or ValueOptions, Kansas at 1-866-645-8216."