Gambling

WHAT TYPE OF GAMBLING SERVICES DOES WVADS, INC. OFFER?

WVADS, Inc. became the first agency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be certified to treat individuals with gambling problems. Additionally, the staff of our agency was the first certified in problem gambling statewide. The agency provides counseling to patients and family members who are not only pathological (compulsive) gamblers, but also provides services to anyone who believes they are developing a problem with gambling. This may be action or escape gamblers, binge gamblers, professional/sports gamblers, or social gamblers.

IF I NEED HELP, HOW DO I ACCESS YOUR TREATMENT PROGRAM?

Quite simply, we are a phone call away. By calling 820-8888, we will schedule a prompt, confidential, appointment for you or your loved one to receive an assessment/evaluation. The results of this evaluation will help us to determine the most-appropriate type of treatment.

HOW DO I PAY FOR GAMBLING TREATMENT AT WVADS, INC.?

Third-party health insurance companies do not as yet pay for gambling treatment. We are hopeful that within a short period of time, reimbursement will be available for these services. WVADS Inc. currently has a contract through the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) which provides reimbursement for gambling counseling services. In those specific cases where DDAP reimbursement is not applicable, we will work closely with the patient and family to arrange for a payment plan that will not place a further financial burden on the individual. The Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Drug and Alcohol Program is also a potential funding resource to help offset the cost of treatment. We will work with that agency to determine if assistance is available in the event that payment becomes difficult for the individual.

DO YOUR GAMBLING TREATMENT SERVICES ADDRESS SPECIFIC DIFFERENCES IN PATIENTS?

Yes. Women, for example, turn to gambling for two specific reasons; first, as a means of escape. Gambling provides a way to escape overwhelming problems, childhood disturbances, troubled relationships, loneliness, boredom, and “empty nest syndrome”. Secondly, for excitement. Gambling creates an arousal state similar to the high produced by cocaine or other drugs. In this excited stage, women focus on the game and ignore all other concerns in their lives. Children, on the other hand, develop problems with gambling because of:

  • parents who gamble
  • early exposure to gambling
  • peers who gamble
  • presence of family drug and alcohol problems
  • personal history of alcohol or drug abuse video game fixation (flashing lights, clanging bells, fast excitement).

The Harvard Medical School Division of Addictions conservatively estimates that 7.9 million American adolescents are problem or compulsive gamblers. The strength of our treatment program at WVADS, Inc. is recognizing the individual needs of each patient we serve.

HOW PREVALENT IS PROBLEM GAMBLING IN THE U.S.?

It is estimated that between 3-5% of the United States population suffers from problem or compulsive gambling. This represents approximately 9-12 million individuals nationwide. Contrary to belief, most adults are able to gamble responsibly. Gambling, of all types, has become a part of American culture. Just examine the many forms that gambling takes on in our society:

  • Bingo
  • Horse racing
  • Sports wagering
  • Card games
  • State lottery games
  • Scratch-off Bingo tickets (bazaars, fundraising)
  • Various games of chance
  • Money wheels (picnics, bazaars)
  • Raffles of all types
  • World Series pools
  • Office pools
  • Fantasy sports leagues
  • Car raffles
  • Dice games
  • Casinos
  • Dog racing
  • Stock market
  • Poker machines
  • Golf or some other game of skill for money

When you sit back and analyze how many different forms of gambling we participate in, you can see why many people say we live in a gambling culture.

ARE THERE QUESTIONS THAT ONE CAN ASK TO DETERMINE IF THEY HAVE A PROBLEM WITH GAMBLING?

Gamblers Anonymous uses the following to help individuals determine whether they have a gambling problem. A compulsive gambler will answer “yes” to at least seven of the questions:

  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing, did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
  8. After a win, did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
  10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
  13. Did gambling make you careless about the welfare of your family?
  14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
  19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of your gambling?

Additionally, should you decide to seek treatment at WVADS, Inc., we will administer the South Oaks Gambling Screen, which is considered one of the most effective, if not the most effective, gambling screening tool available.

ARE THERE WEBSITES THAT YOU CAN RECOMMEND SO I CAN GET MORE INFORMATION ON GAMBLING?

Here are a few websites that you will find most helpful:

DOES WVADS, INC. PROVIDE SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY PREVENTION AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS?

Yes. WVADS, Inc. is not only known for its outstanding treatment programs. The agency also has the same reputation for its prevention/ education services. We will be more than happy to tailor our presentation to meet the needs of your audience on any topic associated with gambling and other addictions. We invite you to call our agency today to schedule a program for your school, group, or organization.

Remember…EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO PREVENTION.

Prescription Drug Abuse Specialty Program

In 2012, WVADS, Inc. developed a Prescription Drug Abuse Specialty Program for treatment, as well as prevention/education. Phil Bauer, whose 17-year-old son, Mark, died of a prescription drug overdose one day prior to his high school graduation, was a major influence on the decision of the agency to begin such a program. His strong advocacy, conviction, and dedication to increasing awareness of this specific problem was enough to convince WVADS, Inc. that it should lead the way. What we found was an epidemic problem with prescription drug abuse in both the young and adult population. The numbers of people gaining access to these drugs illicitly by “doctor shopping” and “pharmacy hopping” was drastically increasing as was interest and street access.

  • Data from the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health shows that nearly one-third of people aged 23 and over who used drugs for the first time began by using a prescription drug non-medically.
  • The Monitoring The Future Study—the nation’s largest survey of drug use among young people—showed that prescription drugs are the second most abused category of drugs after marijuana.
  • More people die in America every year from prescription drug abuse than die from heroin and cocaine combined, according to a new report from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The Center For Disease Control found a fourfold increase in deaths from prescription narcotics over the past decade. Not surprisingly, it coincides with a fourfold increase in the number of prescriptions written for the powerful painkillers.
  • Annually, between 15-20 million Americans report using a prescription drug for non-medical reasons at least once per year.

With the assistance and expertise of our Medical Director, Dr. Edward Carey, we have developed treatment protocols and procedures that will provide the patient a tremendous opportunity for recovery. Additionally, our Relapse Prevention Program will assist the patient in learning how to maintain their long-term recovery. On the Prevention/Education side, we have begun placing a greater emphasis on integrating prescription drug prevention information and materials into our school-based and community programming. A comprehensive brochure, detailing prescription drug info has been developed by the agency and widely distributed.

 

Tobacco Treatment

School-Based: 10 public school districts throughout
Luzerne and Wyoming Counties receive:

  • classroom education programs
  • one-on-one interventions with student smokers
  • Cessation Services available to students and staff
  • Alternative To Suspension programs
  • Power of Ten Group
  • services to teachers/parents

Community (Focus on Second-Hand Smoke):

  • health fairs (various locations)
  • college displays/fairs
  • senior citizen center programs
  • presentations to civic, church, and service organizations
  • presentations on Advantages of Smoke-Free Workplaces to business/industry

Cessation:

  • individual cessation intervention
  • Tobacco Cessation clinics both in workplaces and at community sites such as YMCA, health clubs, social service agencies, etc.

Disparate Populations:

  • work with agencies/organizations in the community serving at-risk underserved populations
  • cessation/education services at area housing projects

Family Program

WHY DOES WVADS, INC. HAVE A FAMILY PROGRAM?

Addiction is a family disease that affects all family members, as well as significant others. The patient and family become diseased, and if the patient is only treated, they will re-gain their health, balance, and recovery, yet, the family will remain ill. Research of all types supports the fact that family therapy and support significantly improves the recovery process.

HOW CAN THE WVADS, INC. FAMILY PROGRAM HELP ME?

Our Family Counselor will assist you with:

  • Advise families on pertinent issues pertaining to their loved one’s addiction and recovery
  • Assist families with communication difficulties
  • Identify areas of family dysfunction and barriers
  • Refer the family for other specialty treatment when and if necessary and appropriate
  • Assist with family re-structuring and re-bonding
  • Elicit questions from family members regarding areas of concern for their loved ones
  • Help your family to normalize concerns and feelings
  • Help the family to understand their current level of functioning
  • Provide educational insights into various aspects of addiction and recovery
  • Assist the family in re-framing its problems to make problem solving more achievable
  • Help family members identify new forms of collaborative efforts and alternative, mutually acceptable, ways to cope with difficulties
  • Assist family members who are difficult to engage better understand the addictive process
  • Constructively deal with any family member’s strong resistance to change
  • Teach family members coping skills, conflict resolution, and conflict mediation skills
  • Educate family on the importance of the role of the fellowships of Al-Anon and Al-Ateen
  • Provide information and guidance on relapse prevention strategies that will enhance and augment their loved one’s recovery

SOMETIMES I FEEL GUILTY ABOUT MY LOVED ONE’S
DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE

Remember the 3 C’s:
You didn’t CAUSE it!
You cannot CONTROL it!
You cannot CURE it!

You can, however, become an effective partner with our agency in the treatment of the disease of addiction. The more you learn about addiction and why your loved one is using and abusing substances, the greater the potential of intervention, early detection and identification, effective treatment, and a healthy and sustained recovery.

Prochaska et al. 1992, identifies the 5 Stages of Change people go through when they suffer from the disease of addiction;

(1) Pre-contemplation
(2) Contemplation
(3) Preparation
(4) Action
(5) Maintenance

During our family program, you will learn the significance of each stage and the role they play in getting the patient to the point where they are “SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED”. Remember the greatest gift our Higher Power gives to any human being is PAIN—Think about it! Pain forces us to go inside ourselves for answers. It causes us to do soul searching and to take a personal inventory. That is why we will remind you to never take the PAIN from your loved one who has a drug and alcohol problem; they have earned that pain and prolonged emotional pain will prove to be a catalyst in getting them to move to change. If there is no pain or consequences, then they will have no reason to change. Families need to be mindful that when our loved ones with addiction hurt, we want to reduce or eliminate their pain and consequences. If you are prone to do this, then consider this definition of enabling….Every time you make an addict’s wrong a right, you give them a right to make another wrong.”

WHEN IS THE WVADS, INC. FAMILY PROGRAM?

The Family Program is conducted every Wednesday evening from 6:00 – 8:00pm on-site at WVADS, Inc., 437 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?

Any family member who resides in Luzerne and Wyoming Counties, Pennsylvania, who is concerned about the use of drugs and alcohol by their loved ones. Your loved one does not have to be in treatment at WVADS, Inc. for you to participate. Family members of WVADS, Inc. patients are especially encouraged to attend.

DO I HAVE TO PRE-REGISTER TO ATTEND THE FAMILY PROGRAM?

No. You just have to show up on any Wednesday evening from 6:00-8:00pm. You will be welcomed by our family counselor and made to feel comfortable.

IS THERE A COST TO THE PROGRAM?

There is no assigned cost for your participation in our agency’s family program; however, donations and contributions are appreciated and accepted, but not required.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHEN YOU SAY ADDICTION IS A FAMILY DISEASE….HOW CAN I BE AFFECTED?

When your loved one uses drugs and alcohol, the family and all its members undergo some very serious life-changing events. Addiction impacts family members in many ways. You may experience many of these;

  • Feelings of abandonment
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Hostility and resentment
  • Embarrassment
  • Guilt
  • Feelings of failure
  • Pre-occupation with loved one’s use
  • Shame
  • Rejection
  • Defeat
  • Remorse
  • Feelings that you want to cut ties with your loved one or seek legal protection
  • Additionally, your family unit will also go through many negative changes and consequences;
  • Family becomes isolated
  • Communication breaks down
  • Negativism will become the norm in the family, highlighted by complaints, criticisms, displeasure, and depressive home environment
  • Rule setting and enforcement will become inconsistent
  • Family structure, rules, and boundaries will fail
  • Messages in the home will become unclear and confusing
  • Family activities will be significantly diminished and the harmony of the home will become non-existent
  • Some family members will deny that their loved one has a drug/alcohol problem, which will further divide family members and set up unhealthy alliances between certain family members
  • Other family members will displace their anger or will be afraid to express their outrage with the drug and alcohol using and abusing family member; often times, other family members will begin to misuse drugs/alcohol to manage or deal with their repressed feelings (self-medication)

Remember, when your children grow up in a home where their parent or mentor has a drug and alcohol problem that goes untreated, the child will learn 3 things as they grow older…

  • DON’T TALK
  • DON’T FEEL
  • DON’T TRUST

These are 3 more reasons why you should consider help for you and your family members.

WHAT ARE SOME RESOURCES THAT I CAN RESEARCH FOR FURTHER INFORMATION?

Relapse Prevention

This five-week program is held at WVADS, Inc. on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1pm to 3pm.

Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a lifelong process, which requires a commitment to a plan of recovery. The leading causes of relapse are failure to have a plan of recovery or deviation from that plan. Similar to other diseases (cardiac, diabetes, certain cancers), the patient plays a key role in their recovery. Once patient stabilization occurs (attainment), now the patient is faced with the challenge of maintaining recovery.

In the addiction field, we stress that patients consider a Relapse Prevention Program. The Relapse Prevention Program at WVADS, Inc. is designed to provide the patient with an in depth understanding of the triggers, daily stressors, or anxieties that, all too common, spell trouble for the recovering patient.

It is important to remember that relapse behaviors can emerge long before a drink or drug is consumed. Research has documented that recovery is enhanced, augmented, and strengthened when a patient attends a Relapse Prevention Program. In addition to helping the patient identify triggers or stressors, the WVADS, Inc. Relapse Prevention Program places emphasis on:

  • establishing healthy boundaries
  • assisting with development of refusal skills
  • conflict resolution
  • effective decision making techniques
  • healthy choices
  • dealing with urges or cravings

Additionally, our program places emphasis on the need to be aware of the 3P’s…….. When one associates with unhealthy Playmates, they will be introduced to unhealthy Playpens, and they will ultimately use unhealthy Playthings.

The ultimate goal of our Relapse Prevention Program is to provide the patient with additional tools that they can utilize and apply in their recovery so they have the opportunity of enjoying the fruits and benefits of sober, drug free living.

Stepping Stones

WHAT IS THE STEPPING STONES PROGRAM?

It is an intensive out-patient counseling experience that utilizes what is called a partial hospitalization model. This simply means that the patient will be provided 10 plus hours of group counseling per week. We named it the “Stepping Stones” program because it is patterned off the 12 principles of the Fellowship programs. WVADS, Inc. has a rich treatment history dating back to 1973. We have taken these experiences, studied them carefully over time, and developed a powerfully successful program that we call “Stepping Stones”.

WHO PAYS FOR THE STEPPING STONES PROGRAM?

We are pleased to report that most all 3rd party insurance companies pay for our Stepping Stones program; traditional Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, First Priority, Geisinger, PA Medical Assistance through Health Choices, United Behavioral Health, just to name a few. Additionally, the Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Drug & Alcohol Program and The United Way of Wyoming Valley provide us with treatment dollars to pay for those individuals who do not have 3rd party insurance coverage. Our agency is also set up to accept VISA, Discover, and Mastercard payments.

HOW DO I GET REFERRED INTO THE STEPPING STONES PROGRAM?

Just talk to any one of our staff at WVADS, Inc. It’s that simple. We will set you up with a prompt appointment to discuss the particulars of the program. We have an open admission to “Stepping Stones”, which means a patient can enter at any time. This allows for immediate access to treatment so that your recovery program is not put on hold. Your recovery is our #1 goal, and we will work diligently to insure that you are given every opportunity for rehabilitation.

CAN MY FAMILY RECEIVE TREATMENT WHILE I AM IN THE STEPPING STONES PROGRAM?

Absolutely! We have a Family Program that is held every Wednesday evening at our Wilkes-Barre office from 6:00-8:00pm Additionally, if your family is interested in scheduling an out-patient counseling appointment to confidentially discuss family specific treatment issues, they can do so at any time. Addiction is a family disease and the efforts for recovery and rehabilitation increase significantly when the entire family receives treatment.

WHAT KIND OF SCHEDULE WILL I BE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW?

When we developed the “Stepping Stones” program, we did so with you, the patient, in mind. We established 3 separate treatment tracks to accommodate the schedules of patients we serve. We have a morning program from 9:00am to 1:00pm, an afternoon program from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, or an evening program from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. We meet 3 times each week for 4 hours each, or a total of 12 hours of treatment weekly. The commitment you are required to make is only 6 weeks. Think about this! A life-changing treatment experience that only requires 6 weeks. This is not to imply that recovery can be accomplished in a 6-week period. It does mean, however, that you can lay a strong foundation on which to build a lifetime of recovery one day at a time.

WHY IS THE “STEPPING STONES” PROGRAM SO EFFECTIVE?

Simply put, it was designed with the patients’ needs in mind. Additionally, we believe it has proven effective for the following reasons:

    1. The “Stepping Stones” treatment experience is an intensive experience with little disruption to your family life, job, or outside activities. It is structured to provide 3 days of treatment per week, with each day consisting of 4 hours of group treatment. Additionally, by spreading it over 6 weeks, it allows you, the patient, an opportunity to absorb the information more effectively.
    2. We have designed 3 tracks to the program to accommodate the schedules of the patient. By accommodating the patient through flexible scheduling and understanding their other family and work obligations, we have developed a partnership with patients who enter our Stepping Stones program.
    3. The treatment experience utilizes a curriculum designed to address the various issues and topics facing the patient. Keep in mind that our agency has been providing addiction treatment since 1973, therefore, we have a rich history of understanding not only addiction, but, more importantly, we understand what is needed for recovery. Stepping Stones is based on the 12 principles of the Fellowship:
  • Acceptance
  • Faith
  • Surrender
  • Honesty
  • Courage
  • Willingness
  • Humility
  • Forgiveness
  • Freedom
  • Perseverance
  • Patience
  • Love
  1. We believe that these are the corner- stones of the recovery process and the reason why the fellowships of AA and NA have been so successful in recovering people’s lives.
  2. The Stepping Stones program provides for individual counseling for all patients. Therefore, in addition to the 72-hour, 6-week group treatment experience, you will also receive individual counseling to address specific issues that you may be having difficulty with. Please be sure to talk with your Stepping Stones counselor about the individual counseling.
  3. No program is successful without the key ingredient of competent, highly skilled staff. You are fortunate to have some of the finest counselors in our Stepping Stones program. The counselors who work in this program were not assigned to do this—they voluntarily chose to work in this program. These counselors wake up every morning with one intention in mind, and that is your health and welfare. We continue to hear from patients who completed the Stepping Stones program and they continue to be thankful for the talented staff who have worked with them.


Conclusion

I hope you now have a better understanding of why we consider our “Stepping Stones” program one of the finest in the United States. WVADS, Inc. earned its reputation because we continue to be responsive to the needs of patients, families, and consumers we serve. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you are not special; you are to us.

WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION TO THE STEPPING STONES PROGRAM?

      • must be detoxified and have primary drug and/or alcohol diagnosis
      • must be able to make commitment to six (6) week program, three (3) days per week. have some degree of family/social supports
      • be free of any major disabling psychiatric conditions
      • be 18 years of age or older
      • must agree to maintain confidentiality of all patients in group

“Some People Rehabilitate Homes, Playgrounds, Parks, or Communities……. We Rehabilitate People’s Lives”

WHAT AREAS DOES THE PROGRAM ADDRESS?

The program has been designed to provide the patient and family a multi-faceted therapeutic and educational experience. The therapy will address salient and specific areas that have been historically significant to chemical dependency. An example of issues addressed in the “Stepping Stones” program are:

    • Roots of Addiction
    • Powerlessness and Unmanageability
    • Chemical Dependency Is A Three Level
    • Disease:
      • Physical
      • Emotional
      • Spiritual
    • Dependency Roller Coaster
    • Progression of the Disease
    • Effects and Consequences of Use
    • Life Management Skills
    • Stress and Addiction
    • Dealing With Anger and Resentment
    • Role of Fellowship in Recovery
    • Role of Self-Defeating Behaviors
    • Process For Making Change
    • Moving On
    • Relapse Prevention
    • Building a Sobriety Plan

Out-Patient

Out-Patient Counseling (for all ages)

Main Office (Wilkes-Barre)

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8:30am to 8:00pm;
Fridays 8:30am to 5:00pm

Pittston Office

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm
Thursday, 1:00pm to 5:00pm

The outpatient counseling program is approximately 6 months in length depending on the needs of the individual client. Emphasis is placed on involvement in self-help groups, relapse prevention, goal setting, problem prioritization, and self-esteem building. (For all ages)

NOTE: Urinalysis testing on patients is arranged for through a referral slip from WVADS, Inc. to Pennant Labs, a service of Commonwealth Health System (patient is responsible for costs).

Assessment/Evaluation

All patients referred to Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. undergo an extensive and comprehensive assessment/evaluation. The results of this assessment should provide us with an accurate picture of the extent and progression of the problem. Once we have determined this, we are now better able to discuss with the patient and family the recommended level of treatment that will hopefully return the user to a drug and/or alcohol free lifestyle. We place a special emphasis on the importance of the assessment/evaluation, because we believe the assignment of a patient to the most-appropriate level of care is critical in their recovery.