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Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Call for NHS gambling therapy

15th January 2007

11042006_laptop.jpgThe NHS should provide access to addiction therapy for chronic gamblers, according to leading medics.

Therapy is already available in some areas, but the British Medical Association has called for equitable access to treatment.

It has also called for a £10m investment into research and awareness, funded by the industry.

The BMA report reflects fears over the effects of the Gambling Act, which comes into power in September and will relax current legislation governing the £9bn industry.

The association warns it could lead to increases in the problem and wants NHS addiction services to routinely screen for gambling addiction, with tailored treatment available where needed.

There are around 300,000 problem gamblers in the country, whose addiction impacts on other areas of their lives, including health, employment and relationships.

Gambling over the internet has doubled in the last five years.

The BMA points to the effects on younger gamblers, and recommends a review into banning slot machine gambling to the under-18s.

Research has linked gambling in young people to crime, truancy and other addiction problems.

The government said people with gambling addiction would be offered support and treatment where necessary, while the largely industry-funded Responsibility in Gambling Trust plans to increase research.

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