October 7, 2021
While caseloads have increased, the program has kept staffing at four part-time and two full-time. The program does receive some additional funding through legislative-member items and insurance reimbursements, but not much. Many clients can’t afford to pay the 50 percent copay or their insurance treats it as a mental health issue, Wert says. That’s a national problem: Most insurance policies provide only partial coverage, and that’s often because the gambling could be a byproduct of another problem says Christine Reilly, executive director of the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders at the Harvard Medical School division on addictions.
“We don’t know a lot about the disorder. There’s probably no one treatment so clinicians are out to sea,” she says. “These people bring in such different problems. They may have substance abuse problems, depression and you can’t treat the gambling without treating the others. Is the gambling a manifestation of those problems or is it the reverse?”
Schillinger is hoping to get some additional funding from a new $2 million revenue stream Gov. Pataki will make available for gambling programs through an RFP process. Jewish Family Services is collaborating with the Alcoholism Council of Niagara County Inc. and the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse on a regional response, with the two county agencies providing prevention programming and JFS providing the treatment side.
Additionally, a shift in funding will now see state funds come through the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).
“They have the expertise in prevention and the networks into the schools. It doesn’t make sense for us to reinvent the wheel,” Schillinger says.
That participation with the schools is important: The fastest rising group of problem gamblers is kids right now, …