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Pathways provides gamblers with counseling

Program based in Waterloo, serves area

December 19, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Gambling addition doesn't bring with it the visual scars that other addictions bring, like drug and alcohol addition.

Often when someone seeks helps with a gambling counselor they have hit rock bottom - unable to pay their bills due to gambling losses they have hidden from their loved ones.

That is where the staff at Pathways Behavioral Services steps in, which is based in Waterloo but serves Marshall County as well as several surrounding counties including Tama and Grundy.

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Referrals often come to Pathways from the toll-free 1-800-BETS-OFF phone line. Lindsay Stack, counselor with Pathways, updated the Marshall County Board of Health recently on the program.

"We know that (gambling) is certainly an issue down here with Meskwaki (Casino) being so close," Stack said.

Stack said they received seven crisis calls from Marshall County in the past year and have two regular clients.

"It can be a gambler (who calls) or someone who is concerned about someone else," Stack said.

A whopping 88 percent of Iowans gamble and 3 percent develop a problem.

Stack spoke to students at Marshalltown High School and was also able to get to East Marshall High School this past year.

"Our youth are at greatest risk," Stack said.

And for those who are looking to buy lottery scratch tickets or other lottery tickets for youth for the holidays as a stocking stuffer, it's not advised.

"It just causes there to be a greater risk of (problem gambling) later on in life," Stack said.

The learn more about Pathways visit



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