Problem Gambling Among AdolescentsOctober 5, 2016
It is a common notion that most people who engage in gambling games are adults. Some of the factors supporting this belief include the financial capacity of adults to bet as well as the accessibility of adults to gambling establishments. However, there is a different trend in gambling that is observed nowadays.
Reports stating that there is an increase in the population of teen gamblers showed that many adolescents are becoming attracted with gambling games. Based on studies conducted by experts, 4 to 7 percent of teen gamblers are experiencing gambling addiction.
It is important to know why adolescents are hooked with gambling games. Social analysts believe that there are socio-psychological factors affecting problem gambling among adolescents. Some teen gamblers engage in gambling games for relaxation, enjoyment, excitement and entertainment purposes. There are also adolescents who resort to gambling because they seek attention from other people.
Parents can determine whether their children are suffering from gambling addiction by observing their behavior. Some of the symptoms of problem gambling among adolescents include the unexplainable need of teenagers for money, extreme interest of teenagers in publications that published the results of any sports event, excessive absence and tardiness in their school classes, and withdrawal of teenagers from family activities or gatherings.
Psychiatrists believe that problem gambling among teenagers should be treated. There are institutions that offer help to adolescents who are considered as problem gamblers. The Gamblers Anonymous allows teen gamblers to share their experiences and seek inspiration from other people who have recovered from gambling addiction. In some cases, psychiatrists recommend teenagers who are suffering from problem gambling to fluvoxamine because the drug is proven to be effective in reducing the urge of adolescents to gamble. Lithium carbonate and valproate are also considered treatments for problem gambling.
The increasing population of adolescents who are frequently involved in any form of gambling has alarmed social groups who oppose the legalization of gambling. They argue that the acceptance of most nations for any gambling incident is one of the causes of the trend. Social analysts believe that if problem gambling among teenagers persists, it may lead to other social and psychological problems such as theft or alcohol and substance abuse.
The family, specifically parents, should cooperate with the agencies and institutions that cater people who are considered problem gamblers. They should seek the help of medical experts as well as counselors in case they determine that their children are addicted to gambling. Hence, problem gambling should be paid enough attention because it may hinder adolescents to have a successful life in the near future.