NHS England will launch the first ever gambling addiction clinic this year for children and young people as a part of the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’.
Gambling is being practiced by hundreds of thousands of individuals in England, and 2 million individuals are at risk of developing a gambling disorder. The Gambling Commission indicates that 450,000 individuals gamble regularly, a figure higher than those who consumed drugs, drunk alcohol or smoked. The Commission also indicates that 55,000 children may have a gambling problem.
Currently, specialist face-to-face treatment for gambling addiction is available only at the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London. As a part of the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’, 14 new NHS clinics are being launched across England, beginning with the NHS Northern Gambling Service in Leeds. Additionally, the National Problem Gambling Clinic will extend its services to children and young people aged 13 to 25 years.
Claire Murdoch, The National Director for Mental Health at NHS England, said: "This has the potential to be a major turning point and it is all about making sure the NHS does everything it can to help people of all ages, who are seriously addicted to gambling."