August 13, 2013

Lewis & Clark secures $50,000 grant to expand free gambling clinic

The grant will allow the graduate school to expand its new – and rapidly growing – free clinic for problem gamblers, the only program in Oregon to offer weekend services.

Lewis & Clark has received a $50,000 grant to expand its rapidly growing free clinic for problem gamblers and their families.

The clinic is the only one of its kind in Oregon offering weekend services. The money will allow the clinic to double its space, adding five therapy rooms, two group therapy classrooms, a waiting area and a student workspace, according to Boyd Pidcock, co-director of the clinic and an associate professor at the Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

The clinic, which opened in January 2013, has seen demand quickly outstrip the original space and schedule, said Pidcock. The expansion is expected to be complete by winter 2013, but has already begun seeing clients on Mondays and Fridays as well as weekends. It will soon be the only gambling services provider in Portland open seven days a week. This is important, says Pidcock, because impulsive gambling frequently occurs on weekends.

Lewis & Clark Problem Gambling Services is located within the college’s Community Counseling Center in a building on Southwest Barbur Boulevard owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. The tribes provided the expansion grant through the Spirit Mountain Community Fund—money that comes from profits at the tribal casino.

The clinic serves any person in Oregon who is affected by gambling—including gamblers and their families, colleagues, and friends—at no cost. Free services are funded through the Oregon lottery.

Gambling addiction affects an estimated 81,000 Oregonians, research shows. In 2012, only 1.6% of problem gamblers sought treatment, according to a report by the Oregon Health Authority. A high percentage of problem gamblers in Oregon—38%—report committing illegal acts in order to obtain gambling money.

“It’s tough to get them to come in,” Pidcock told the Oregonian. The bigger clinic also will allow for an expanded outreach program, he said.

Problem Gambling Services