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Problem gamblers in W.Va. can find help at free weekend workshop

W.Va. gambling addiction treatment group hosting program

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginiais will host a free weekend workshop for problem gamblers and their loved ones on Nov. 16-18 at Pipestem State Park,

The group, which operates the 1-800-GAMBLER helpline, has hosted this event for 13 years. This weekend event is for anyone who is currently trying to stop gambling, or who has struggled with gambling addiction in the past. Family members of participants are encouraged to attend as well.

Jennifer Davis-Walton, program director for The Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia, said the event offers an unusual opportunity for problem gamblers in the state.

“We bring in some of the most well-known treatment specialists in the country and give participants free access to their expertise. There is also great value in just getting to know other people from across the state who are dealing with the same issue.”

In addition to meeting with others who have struggled with gambling, participants will hear featured speakers.  Lesa Densmore, a former NCAA athlete who struggled with gambling addiction, and now works as a behavioral health consultant specializing in problem gambling, will speak. Arnie Wexler, recovering compulsive gambler, author, and expert on gambling addiction, along with his wife Sheila, will talk about how gambling can destroy relationships.

Dr. Heather Chapman, a researcher and clinical psychologist who is director of the Gambling Treatment Program at the Cleveland VA, will share her expertise on treatment and long-term recovery. Additionally, several local counselors will be available for individual or couples counseling.

Davis-Walton said the organization offers the function on the weekend for participant convenience, and that that Pipestem Park, located between Bluefield and Beckley, was chosen for its serene setting.Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Private rooms will be provided for each person or couple. To learn more, contact Jennifer Davis-Walton at [email protected] call 304-344-2213, ext. 1107 or Sheila Moran at 304-741-9999. Anyone can call 1800-GAMBLER 24/

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