The South Suburban Council, a leading provider of behavioral health services in the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana and all surrounding communities and Counties, has begun offering treatment programs for gambling addictions at its East Hazel Crest Illinois location.

It’s estimated that 15% of all Americans gamble at least once weekly. Recent studies have shown a significant increase in online gambling, including for first time gamblers during this time of social distancing. Gambling disorder can lead to a wide array of significant mental health issues, including a documented higher suicide rate than other addictions.

Analytics have revealed a 67% increase in online gambling since the shutdown of all non-essential services due to COVID-19 in most of the U.S. and much of the world. A similar trend was flagged by US-facing online social poker room Global Poker, which revealed a 43% increase in the use of online poker sites in the U.S. since social distancing and lockdowns took effect, including a 255% increase in first-time poker players.

The South Suburban Council provides medical, mental health and substance abuse/chemical dependency inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services at its East Hazel Crest Illinois location.

“Recovery from addiction has just gotten a lot harder in this time of social isolation. People in early recovery depend on their sober community for connection and support. Faced with loneliness and with limited options, people may turn back to their substance of choice, such as alcohol, or if one is struggling with gambling addiction may turn to other risky activities such as online gambling,” says Bradley Stein, Director of Marketing, Media Relations, Business Development and Senior Addiction Counselor at The South Suburban Council.

“Some symptoms to be aware of include an inability to stop once starting, needing to wager higher and higher amounts to get the same effect, hiding losses from family, obsessing over the next gambling session, chasing losses and increasing debt,” he added.

“The COVID-19 crisis has created an environment where more than ever evidence-based addiction treatment services are needed. Research has shown that anxiety, isolation and boredom are stressors that promote addictive behavior including gambling. As Chicagoans and Hoosiers continue to experience a new shelter-in-place normal, we want to continue to serve the needs of this population,” says Mr. Stein.

PRESS RELEASE: We-Are-Now-A-Gambling-Disorder-Treatment-Provider

About The South Suburban Council, a substance use and mental health treatment provider and recovery home.

We are The South Suburban Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to alcoholism, substance use and mental health treatment and recovery. The mission of The South Suburban Council is to deliver a continuum of treatment and recovery support services to residents of the greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana areas and those surrounding communities particularly to those who are financially disadvantaged. Licensed by the Illinois Department of Human services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and recovery and Division of Mental Health and certified for Medicaid reimbursement. The South Suburban Council is accredited by The Joint Commission. The South Suburban Council does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, age, mental or physical handicap, marital status, HIV status, sexual orientation, transgender status, parental status or political affiliation. The South Suburban Council is handicap accessible and does not deny access to service because of a proven inability to pay.


Areas of Focus: Awareness, Treatment, and Prevention

  • Provide support services and access treatment avenues for individuals and families experiencing substance use disorder
  • Educate the community on substance use disorder focusing on prevention, treatment, and recovery and relapse prevention.
  • Collaborate with all community sectors on substance use disorder focusing on prevention, treatment, recovery, and relapse prevention.
  • Support advocacy through education and training.
  • Participate, advocate, and lobby for recovery on a broader stage to regional, county, state, and federal organizations.


The values of The South Suburban Council are focused on trust, resilience, friendship, and family.


The South Suburban Council core competencies include: Commitment to recovery and safety of our clients, emphasis on communication and influence and responsiveness to our client’s needs.

At The South Suburban Council, communication and responsiveness is prioritized and influence and mentorship is provided appropriately to aid in the client’s recovery with the help of Counselors, Medical Staff, life skills counselors, Recovery Coaches and peer mentorship.

The South Suburban Council

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