Sharing Awareness of Problem Gambling During March 2020 Awareness Month. Teens Are Gambling Online & It Is On The Rise. Parents Beware and Need Be Informed. . .

Sharing Awareness of Problem Gambling During March 2020 Awareness Month. Teens Are Gambling Online & It Is On The Rise. Parents Beware and Need Be Informed. . .



Internet Gambling Among Teens and College Students

Gambling is a popular pastime for adults, whether it is purchasing lotto tickets, betting on sports games, or casino-style gambling. Unsurprisingly, internet gambling has also become popular; it is so popular that in the fall of 2011, comScore found that online gambling was the fastest growing online category, with almost 10 million U.S. users.

Global online gambling is now worth an estimated $30 billion and rising. And online poker is estimated to be worth $6 billion annually in the US alone, as the Justice Department has apparently opened the door to internet gambling by reversing their longtime position that online poker and betting was illegal.

Just how open online gambling will become with this change of ruling has yet to be seen, but it is interesting to note that Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Casino and one of the world’s richest men, responded to the ruling with concern, saying that:

“loosening the reins on online gambling will take a heavy toll on young people, especially because current technology isn’t robust enough to keep children from betting real money using computers .”

He’s right. Internet gambling takes little more than acquiring or “borrowing” a credit card.


Image Courtesy of Edge Rehab


Internet gambling sites already have teens and young adult users on their sites. A whopping 20% of college students play online poker at least once a month according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, an organization that has tracked young people’s use of gambling sites for over 10 years.

In 2010 the Annenberg Public Policy Center surveyed students and compared the results to their 2008 survey. They found that monthly use of internet gambling sites among college-age males shot up from 4.4% in 2008 to 16.0% in 2010. In spite of the sharp increase in participants, their frequency of use did not increase, remaining at about 3% on a weekly basis.

“The dramatic increase in the use of online gambling by college-age male youth indicates that payment restrictions on such sites are no longer a barrier to young people,” said Dan Romer, director of the Annenberg Adolescent Communication Institute, which conducts the annual survey. Projected on a national basis, more than 400,000 male youth in the college-age range (18 to 22) gamble for money at least once a week on the Internet, and over 1.7 million do so at least once a month.

The researchers noted that high school-aged males showed only a small and statistically insignificant increase in monthly use of Internet gambling sites between 2008 and 2010 (from 2.7% to 6.2%), but this still represents over 530,000 high school-aged male students visiting gambling sites per month.

Among high school females, the study found that females continue to gamble less than males, but the latest survey shows a sharp rise in some types of offline gambling, primarily related to sports.

While only 9.5% of high school girls reported engaging in sports betting on a monthly basis in 2008, fully 22% reported doing so in 2010. Sports betting was the main reason for the overall increase in total gambling for high school-aged females, going from 18.9% in 2008 to 28.2% in 2011.


The frequency of betting also showed a dramatic increase, from less than 1% in 2008 to 8.3% in 2021. Contributing to this trend are the availability of online venues and the expansion and acceptance of offline gambling.

Why youth gamble

Today’s teens are living in a society where legalized gambling is not only socially acceptable; it is widely promoted and highly visible. 48 states now allow some form of gambling. Casinos advertise heavily on TV, radio, online, and billboard ads. Poker tournaments complete with expert commentary, interesting filming angles, and million-dollar prizes have become “hot ticket” reality TV on cable & broadband networks.

Given the prevalence, visibility, and glamour now afforded to gambling, it is not surprising that many teens are drawn to the instant gratification, thrill, and hope of fast money. The three predominant reasons reported by teens for gambling are (a) the excitement it brings, (b) enjoyment, and (c) to win money. Other reasons adolescents gamble include peer pressure, to relieve boredom, and to relieve feelings of depression. This is particularly the case on college campuses where students play poker in dorm rooms and local bars.

Columbia University Medical Center’s research indicates that teenagers make up half of the 16 million people in the United States with gambling addictions. At a time when youth are struggling and searching for their identity, gambling can appeal both because of its excitement, fun, and entertaining value and its ability to rapidly boost a youth’s self-image. This can dramatically switch, however, when losses inevitably increase and trigger a drop in self-esteem, financial anxiety, and depression. Youth may begin stealing or selling possessions to pay off debts, or to continue gambling in the hopes of winning big.

Columbia’s research also indicates that youth who begin gambling at an early age are at increased risk of addiction and that gambling-addicted youths’ perceptions become altered into believing they have a higher than 50% chance of winning. Parents that gamble, give lottery tickets to youth or show approval of gambling are often a key contributing factor in teens with problem gambling. Teens succumb to gambling addiction at rates between two and four times the rate of adults.

Complicating efforts to protect minors from online gambling is the ever-present access to computers and mobile phones (several online casinos and card rooms offer mobile options) that make gambling just a click away. Another factor is the anonymity of online interactions: ID verification checks that serve as barriers to underage gambling in brick-and-mortar casinos are practically non-existent in the world of online gambling.

Identifying gambling addiction


If you suspect that you or your child has a gambling problem, review the following list of questions created by the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling that helps identify if gambling has become an addiction:

Problem Gambling Warning Signs:

  • Is gambling the most exciting activity in your life?
  • Do you miss school, activities, or other events due to gambling?
  • Has anyone expressed concern about your gambling?
  • Do you lie to your friends or family about your gambling?
  • Do you borrow money to gamble?
  • Have you sold personal belongings to get money to gamble?
  • Have you stolen from your family, friends, or employer to gamble or to pay back gambling debts?
  • After losing, do you try to win your money back by gambling?
  • Are you preoccupied with thoughts of gambling?
  • Have you tried to stop gambling but can’t?

Recovery from online gambling addictions is particularly challenging because in a moment of weakness a relapse is still only one click away.

Several states and organizations offer assistance for people struggling with gambling addictions and can provide referral services to counselors and programs in your area. To find help in your area, ask your doctor, or search online for “Internet Gambling addiction help” (plus the name of your state or city). You may also choose to contact Gamblers Anonymous and see their local listings for your area.

Talk about online gambling

Given the ease of access and the allure that online gambling (and real-world gambling) has on teens and college-age students, it is critical that youth (particularly males) and parents understand and discuss the risks to minors surrounding this activity.

After gaining a basic understanding of the issues around internet gambling through this article, you may be prepared for this discussion. If you believe the problems you are facing require more assistance you may want to contact your primary care physician or review additional online material through the links embedded within this document and in the additional links below.

More resources on online gambling:


Article Courtesy of https://www.webroot.com/us/en/resources/tips-articles/internet-gambling-among-teens-and-college-students


Problem Gambling Misconceptions and Myths. Are They Fact or Myth? My Guest Post By “The Recovery Village” …

Problem Gambling Misconceptions and Myths. Are They Fact or Myth? My Guest Post By “The Recovery Village” …

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What happens when you first walk into a CASINO? How do you feel? Like your special? Have feelings of excitement? Like you may WIN BIG?

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Well, that was exactly how I felt! And how many people who have had a problem with gambling, felt too!  Now, I am not saying that if you gamble normally that you’ll become a problem or an addicted gambler.  What I am trying to say and share is that for those who do have a problem?  There is nothing NORMAL about it as many of the exciting feelings become the staple of ‘HOW WE FEEL’ each time we gamble.  AND? It goes way beyond those “Feeling of being SPECIAL”…

We actually get a euphoric high and rush when we walk into any gambling venue …And never matters if we WIN or LOSE, these feelings along with cravings, triggers, and urges compound the more we are in “action!”  Be it at cards, slots, or even dice?  The preference really doesn’t matter.

It is the act, being in action and being active within gambling that keeps us stuck in a habitual “CYCLE.”

With so much STIGMA around this Silent Problem, a problem many suffer in silence from addicted gambling, I wanted to share most of an article by the team at “Recovery Village Center”  to help us with some of the real facts are from the MYTHS about problem gambling.  Always know they are ready to HELP and share HOPE from this cunning addiction as The Fine Folks of Recovery Village are always available.

Just visit their website or Call THEM AT 1-888-559-6554 …~ Advocate, Catherine Lyon

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Reviewer Andrew Proulx
Updated on01/23/20

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“Gambling addiction is a serious and devastating problem for many people. Understanding this serious behavioral addiction requires replacing the myths with the facts.”

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Gambling addiction, or compulsive gambling, is a behavioral addiction (process addiction) characterized by a pathological obsession and compulsion to gamble. The addiction to gambling becomes increasingly problematic, causing financial, family, social and job problems, but the gambler continues and is unable to control or stop gambling, despite the negative consequences.

Compulsive gamblers are secretive and tend to be socially isolated, so there are many misconceptions and myths about this addiction. To have a proper understanding of this devastating disorder, it is necessary to separate the myths from the facts.

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Myth 1: Gambling Isn’t Addictive

Fact: Gambling is designed to be addictive.

Gambling operates on a principle of psychology that is known to be highly addictive and compulsion-inducing. This principle is based on variable ratios of reinforcement (i.e., winning), and random ratios of reinforcement, together known as a variable-ratio reinforcement schedule (VRRS). Finding the most addictive form of a VRRS is a matter of considerable research. Most gambling machines are programmed to dole out wins on a precise schedule that is based on the most addictive form of a VRRS.

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Myth 2: Gambling Is a Way to Make Money

Fact: The house always wins, especially when it comes to compulsive gamblers. Money Never Comes For FREE

When driving past a casino it is easy to admire the lavish building. However, it is also easy to forget that the money to build that casino probably came from the losses of the people who gamble there.

One of the characteristics of compulsive pathological gambling is the persistent belief that the next bet will pay, despite repeatedly losing past the next bets. As such, the delusional belief that a stroke of luck is only a wager away is part of the pathological psychology of gambling addiction. The belief that gambling will pay off despite having lost considerable amounts of money is a driving factor of compulsive gambling.

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Myth 3: If You Keep Playing, You Will Eventually Win Your Money Back

Fact: The longer someone remains actively gambling addiction, the greater the losses.

The irrational belief that the gambler will eventually hit it big and come out ahead is a significant driver of gambling addiction. To people who don’t have a gambling addiction, it is usually clear when enough is enough and they can walk away from their losses and get on with life. However, compulsive gamblers cannot do that; they keep coming back, driven by irrational beliefs of the big win.

However, gambling addiction is about much more than simply whether or not the person will win or lose. People who have a gambling addiction get a rush from gambling or a high, and this high is how they cope with negative feelings and life’s stressors. When they are gambling, the high they get from it makes them happy for a little while and distracts them from all their problems. It is known that pathological gamblers get this high whether they are winning or losing. The act of gambling is all they need.

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Myth 4: If You Can Afford It, Compulsive Gambling Isn’t Really a Problem

Fact: Compulsive gambling is a symptom of underlying emotional and coping problems.

Financial loss is only one of many negative consequences of compulsive gambling. People who struggle with gambling addiction often end up having serious problems in their relationships and at their jobs, and may neglect life’s obligations.

Pathological gambling is a progressive condition that tends to become increasingly consuming as time goes by. This fact is especially true in times of stress or low mood, as gambling becomes a way of coping. Eventually, almost all pathological gamblers suffer life-changing financial loss unless they get help in time.

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Myth 5: Compulsive Gamblers Play Every Day

Fact: Gambling addiction can be continuous or episodic.

Many compulsive gamblers have dry periods without any betting. However, gambling addiction is chronic and progressive, so for many pathological gamblers, it eventually becomes a daily activity unless they seek and accept help.

An obsessive-compulsive preoccupation with gambling characterizes pathological gambling. Over time, these obsessive thoughts about betting become increasingly more invasive and anxiety-provoking. The only way to relieve that anxiety is by gambling, which is the compulsion that is coupled with the obsession.

Similar to people who struggle with drug addiction, pathological gamblers experience tolerance, meaning that they require increasing amounts of the activity to satisfy their obsession and to get the same high. They also experience increasing amounts of withdrawal, which is the low mood and irritability they feel when they are not gambling. As these effects worsen, gambling usually increases as a result, and the addiction progresses.

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Myth 6: Knowing a Game Well Increases Your Odds of Winning

Fact: Gambling games are designed to not have any aspect that will increase the odds of winning purely out of knowledge or skill.

Gambling games become absorbing for gamblers. Psychologists refer to “dark flow” as the state where the player becomes so immersed in a game that everything outside of it becomes irrelevant. This “dark flow” state is highly associated with addiction to the game and is designed to occur as people get to know a game by playing the same game for an extended period.

All gambling games are heavily favored for the house, which is why casino owners become so wealthy and the gamblers do not. If a game was not heavily in favor of the house, it would never become popular, because no casino, lottery or gambling website would want it. Whether or not someone knows a game well doesn’t change that fact.

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Myth 7: There Are “Hot” and “Cold” Slot Machines

Fact: Slot machines are programmed to promote problematic play and win for the house.

Slot machines are a particularly dangerous form of gambling because they are programmed with the most addictive form of VRRS schedule. Additionally, they are programmed to operate on a principle known as loss disguised as a win (LDW). This effect happens when a player is given a “win” of credits with a spin, but fewer credits than the original wager. The psychological effect is that these frequent wins keep the player engaged, despite a net loss.

Both the single-line slots (the traditional slots) and the more modern multi-line slots are programmed to give LDW “wins” in a specific payback percentage, but it is always less than 100% and certainly not above 100%, meaning that the house always wins. There are no “hot” slot machines, only “cold” ones.

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Myth 8: Gambling Is Only a Financial Problem

Fact: Gambling addiction causes problems that extend well beyond financial losses.

As their tolerance and withdrawal effects intensify, people who struggle with gambling addiction spend more and more time in their gambling activities, and in seeking money to support their addiction.

Normal activities and responsibilities become neglected because of the amount of time required to satisfy the addiction. They begin missing work and are frequently absent from home. Even sleep becomes affected as they pull “all-nighters” gambling.

This time commitment can have effects beyond financial loss, such as:

  • Career-related consequences: being written up at work or losing a job
  • Relationship stress: financial stress, job loss, and frequent absence are not conducive to healthy relationships, and can devastate families
  • Social isolation: friends and family are tired of being asked for loans and maybe pushed away as the gambler becomes increasingly secretive
  • Arrest and criminal charges: for illegal activities used to finance gambling
  • Physical health problems: lack of sleep or self-care
  • Mental health problems: depressionanxiety, and emotional distress

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Myth 9: All Gamblers Engage in Criminal Behavior

Fact: Gamblers who seek and accept help can recover before they have to resort to criminal activity to finance their gambling.

If pathological gamblers continue with the addiction long enough, frequently the result is criminal behavior to finance the gambling habit. The most common gambling-related crimes are non-violent, financially motivated offenses:

  • Theft
  • Selling drugs
  • Forgery
  • Embezzlement

Typically, they will rationalize their crime as borrowing money. For example, if the person forges a check, takes money from the workplace or steals from a neighbor, they might rationalize the act by convincing themselves that they will return the money, usually after a big win at the casino.

However, not all crimes that compulsive gamblers are engaged in are financially motivated and non-violent. The three risky behaviors of substance abuse, gambling, and crime are known to be closely associated and often co-occur.

Some gambling crime statistics compiled by Georgia State University include:

  • About 50% of compulsive gamblers commit crimes
  • 73% of incarcerated felons are pathological or problem gamblers
  • Pathological gamblers are more than three times more likely to be arrested than non-problem gamblers, and more than seven times than non-gamblers
  • Only 5% of incarcerated pathological gamblers have ever gotten help for it

Myth 10: Teens Don’t Gamble, Only Older People Gamble Especially Now That Some States Have Legal Online Sports-Betting – It’s Touching Teens!


Fact: Gambling is a bigger problem among teens than it is in adults.

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Please, GO VISIT AND LEARN HOW It Is Touching our TEENS atRecovery Village Center”  

 

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MY MEMOIR IS NOT “HOW” TO RECOVER, IT IS THE “WHY” I TURNED TO ADDICTED GAMBLING … Ebook on sale only $2.99 Now On Amazon Kindle.

“But I Only Gambled For Fun Because I was Bored”…

Welcome Recovery Friends and New Seekers,

How many times have I heard that one from a new member seeking recovery in my Gamblers Anonymous meetings? A lot! Let me share a few facts that maybe many of others don’t know about gambling, and how easy it can be to become “Addicted.”
If we don’t share the knowledge, then we can not Shatter the Stigma!

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Here are a few facts about gambling addiction from “The National Council Of Problem Gambling” who helps so many of us who are in recovery from “Addicted Compulsive Gambling” http://www.ncpgambling.org
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What is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term “Problem Gambling” includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as “Pathological”, or “Compulsive” Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.
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NOW LETS SHATTER THE STIGMA ABOUT GAMBLING WITH TRUTH;
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How can a person be addicted to something that isn’t a substance?
Although no substance is ingested, the problem gambler gets the same effect from gambling as someone else might get from taking a tranquilizer or having a drink. The gambling alters the person’s mood and the gambler keeps repeating the behavior attempting to achieve that same effect. But just as tolerance develops to drugs or alcohol, the gambler finds that it takes more and more of the gambling experience to achieve the same emotional effect as before. This creates an increased craving for the activity and the gambler finds they have less and less ability to resist as the craving grows in intensity and frequency.
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Are problem gamblers usually addicted to other things too?
It is generally accepted that people with one addiction are more at risk to develop another. Some problem gamblers also find they have a problem with alcohol or drugs. This does not, however, mean that if you have a gambling problem you are guaranteed to become addicted to other things. Some problem gamblers never experience any other addiction because no other substance or activity gives them the same feeling as the gambling does. There also appears to be evidence of family patterns regarding dependency as many problem gamblers report one or both parents had a drinking and or gambling problem.
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Can you be a problem gambler if you don’t gamble every day?
The frequency of a person’s gambling does not determine whether or not they have a gambling problem. Even though the problem gambler may only go on periodic gambling binges, the emotional and financial consequences will still be evident in the gambler’s life, including the effects on the family.
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Stages of Compulsive Gambling

  1. Winning Phase (1-3 years) Gambling wins enhance self-image and ego. Losses are rationalized as temporary bad luck. The gambler feels intense excitement and identifies with being a winner.
  2. Losing Stage Losses outweigh wins and all gains are wiped out. The gambler begins to chase losses (gamble in order to get even). He/she will borrow money, sell possessions to get gambling resources in the belief that losses can be won back.
  3. Desperation Stage Compulsive gamblers think only about gambling. They may show visible personality changes. They are driven. Gambling takes priority over work, school, family, and other life aspects. They will pile up sever debts that create more life problems. They often experience sever mood swings and may commit crimes to get gambling money. Compulsive gamblers do not see a future without gambling. Suicide may be considered as a way out.

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CURRENT STATS:
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How widespread is problem gambling in the U.S.?
2 million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling in a given year. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; that is, they do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling, but meet one of more of the criteria and are experiencing problems due to their gambling behavior. Research also indicates that most adults who choose to gamble are able to do responsibly.
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How widespread is gambling in the U.S.?
Approximately 85% of U.S. adults have gambled at least once in their lives; 60% in the past year. Some form of legalized gambling is available in 48 states plus the District of Columbia. The two without legalized gambling are Hawaii and Utah….
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I have to add that WOMEN make 50% of all problem gamblers, and WHY? They are BORED. Many women, especially one’s who lose a spouse, life partner, find they have much more time on their hands and as they grief from a traumatic life event such as this, they are MORE at Risk to become addicted if they gamble. Also, 6% of those numbers are now YOUR KIDS! The rate of young adults and late teens, ( High School Teens & College young adults) are now problem gamblers. With many college kids having “Poker Tourney’s” can make it a higher risk for them to become addicted as an adult.
“The National Center For Responsible Gaming” now has an awesome website to raise awareness and help college kids get help from “Problem Gambling” here: http://www.collegegambling,org
Here are a few Stats about “College Gambling”:
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Welcome to CollegeGambling.org

While gambling can be fun if you’re of legal age, it’s not a risk-free activity. For some college students, gambling for fun can turn into a serious problem and have a negative impact on their lives.

College Gambling.org was developed by the National Center for Responsible Gamingrelated harms on campus. This site provides resources to help you learn more about this issue and how to get help if you need it. Another website that is FANTASTIC For Student Gambling Information is the counseling services “Texas State University” offers for their students: Gambling : Counseling Center : Texas State University  They have an extensive program to help students with gambling problems, and it is a good “Resource” for information about gambling addiction in general.
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Fact Sheet: Gambling Disorders among College Students

  • The most recent research estimates that 6 percent of college students in the U.S. have a serious gambling problem that can result in psychological difficulties, unmanageable debt and failing grades.
  • Research has shown that teenagers and college-aged young adults are more impulsive and at higher risk for developing gambling disorders than adults.
  • Most adults with a gambling problem started gambling at an early age. Scientists have learned that the adolescent brain is still growing, which accounts for the frequently impulsive behavior and unwise decisions of teenagers.
  • Compared to female college students, research suggests that male college students are more likely to have gambled in the past year, gambled with more money and reported having gambling problems.
  • Gambling disorders are associated with numerous negative consequences and are highly correlated with other risky behaviors in the college student population.
  • Compared to students without gambling problems, students with gambling problems are more likely to use tobacco, drink heavily or binge drink, smoke marijuana or use other illegal drugs, drive under the influence and have a low GPA.
  • Gambling opportunities, once only available in a few states, have proliferated nationwide during the past 30 years with the expansion of lotteries, casinos, and Internet gambling. Therefore, today’s college students are exposed to not only drinking and drug use but also gambling, both on campus and in the surrounding community.
  • While the most recent research estimates that 6 percent of college students have a gambling problem, college students seem to mature out of these problems, as they do with alcohol and drug use, after college. This is evidenced by the fact that only 1 percent of the adult population has a gambling disorder in the U.S.
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So parents, I think when you have “THE TALK” with your kids about the dangers of Alcohol and Drugs, maybe think about adding “Problem Gambling” now in the mix. DON’T let gambling become a problem for your kids.
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I will close my post with something I learned REAL QUICK in treatment & recovery. It’s called H.A.L.T.
H.A.L.T. stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Each one of these four physical or emotional conditions, if not taken care of, leaves an individual vulnerable for relapse. And I know this first hand. I used to get LONELY when my husband worked out-of-town a lot, so I had time TOO much time on my hands. I know this contributed to my progression of my addiction into uncontrolled gambling. It was also a source of a couple of relapses in early recovery for me. Again, women seem to be more at risk for this.
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It takes much work in recovery, meetings, treatment, working the 12-Steps if you chose to. There are many avenues to a path of recovery, the most important is for YOU to just START. There are many resources available today for receiving help to get your life back from Compulsive Addicted Gambling. You only need to take that first step, I did!
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God Bless All
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
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