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The Department of Veterans Affairs has opened a new in-patient gambling addiction recovery centre in Las Vegas.

The facility is the second of its kind in nearly 50 years at VA: the department’s first gambling addiction centre – a trailblazing treatment facility that was the first of its kind in the country for addressing compulsive gambling – opened at the Brecksville, Ohio, VA Medical Centre in 1972.

Now part of the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Centre, it was the sole inpatient treatment centre for gambling addiction, drawing more than 100 veterans annually from around the country for care.

Tim Jobin, chief of behavioural health at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, said the new gambling addiction centre “fills a gap in our mental health continuum of care.”

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“The staff has dedicated countless hours of planning, mindfulness and reviews to make this happen here today,” Jobin said.

The new gambling addiction centre has 20 beds, including a separate wing with five beds for women veterans, and will focus on individual treatment plans using a “whole health approach” geared to emotional, physical and mental healing.

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