An addiction treatment service has teamed up with the Cork County Board to tackle gambling addictions among GAA members.
The move is being done against a backdrop of severe gambling issues among GAA players across the country.
The Tabour Group addiction treatment service confirmed the partnership in its latest report.
Earlier this year, the GAA voted to ban all sponsorship by gambling companies. Former All Star footballer Oisin McConville has spoken out several times in recent years about his addiction to gambling.
The Gaelic Players Association revealed that 15% of 77 GAA players who sought counselling last year did so for gambling problems.
Tabor Lodge’s report was published yesterday and included information regarding the partnership with the GAA. Training workshops to educate and foster an understanding of the signs and symptoms of problematic gambling are being held this year for club officials and coaches.
The report showed that seven out of ten people who sought help at the facility last year did so for alcohol-related issues.
Speaking about the overall addiction trends in Cork, a spokeswoman for Tabor Lodge said: “Cannabis has fallen in popularity, while opiate/heroin abuse is on the rise.” “The numbers seeking help for gambling have more than doubled in the past year and issues with food remains high; particularly among female patients, at 30%.”
Chairman of Tabor Group, Denis Healy said: “Across Tabor Group’s three residential centres, over 300 people accessed treatment last year and alcohol addiction continues to remain the number one issue. However, we are seeing the patient profile changing, with mental health challenges and a history of childhood trauma becoming more evident.”
Of the 213 people who accessed treatment at Tabor Lodge (Tabor Group’s 28 Day Residential Treatment Programme), the main reasons for referral were alcohol (65%), substance abuse (30%), gambling (5%) and food (1%).
Mr Healy added: “The patterns that we have seen over the last number of years continued throughout 2017 with high numbers of clients presenting with poly-drug use and dual diagnosis of mental illnesses.” The report was published during a visit by County Mayor Declan Hurley to the Tabor Group’s Fellowship House on Spur Hill.