STAT June 19, 2024
Lev Facher

LAS VEGAS — Downstairs was a sensory overload: Roulette wheels spun, slot-machine chimes rang, and dealers hurried to scoop up stacks of casino chips resting in front of busted blackjack hands. Many gamblers held a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

It was perhaps a strange setting for a conference about substance use treatment. But there may have been no better venue than the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for the stark warning being offered in a ballroom upstairs: America’s addiction professionals are ignoring gambling.

The session on gambling constituted a sharp pivot from the rest of the conference, put on by the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence, an advocacy group...

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