Gambling Problems Among The Youth

Gambling among youths has become a great concern not only for parents and guardians but also for the government and communities. Many people consider it to be innocent fun without many negative consequences for those who do it occasionally. However, nowadays, a growing number of youths are gradually adopting gambling as a lifestyle and it’s really disturbing.

Most people tend to see gambling as a safe alternative to social vices like drug or alcohol addiction. So, they may not find anything wrong with youth playing card or slots, as long as they are not smoking, drinking or doing any of the “more serious” stuffs. While this may seem reasonable, it doesn’t dismiss the fact that gambling is problematic.

Even experts have discovered that most long term gamblers usually have serious issues at a later stage in their lives just like alcohol and drug users. Apart from losing their money, these individuals may eventually suffer from mental problems like depression and a feeling to take their lives especially when they lose. One way to identify such youths is through their lifestyle; many of them are usually aggressive and perform badly in college. Sometimes, they may resort to taking drugs marijuana and other illegal drugs.

Also, it is not uncommon for these youths to engage in gang fights and shoplifts. For those who are addicted, stealing becomes inevitable when there is no money to play.

Even though the consequence of Youth gambling is glaring, public sentiments and government policies still encourage it in some measure. In many parts of the world, gambling has been legalized for young adults. For instance, in Ontario, once you attain 19, you are allowed to play to casino. Even in those places where visiting casino outlets are prohibited, many people still have access to online casinos especially those who play with

So, we have gradually moved from a past when gambling was shunned to an age where it’s not only tolerated but also accepted. And it’s this acceptance that has made it no more than a leisure activity for many youths.

What can be done?

Without doubts, there’s need for more vigilance by parents on kids especially in their adolescence. This is because most youths who have a problem with gambling today started doing it in their adolescence until it became an habit for them as they grew up.

Though stricter policies have been put in place to make it difficult for teenagers to access regular casinos, however, many of them still gamble at home and online. This is why some of them still grow up to develop problems with gambling.

In addition to vigilance, special institutions should be created that focus on preventing and treating gambling in youths. And health practitioners should out in more effort in helping patients with gambling addictions.

Finally, the best way to curtail the growing problem of gambling among youths is to identify and treat them early before they progress into addiction. The earlier we understand gambling poses a serious danger to our society, the better for us.

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