Facts About Gambling
- Most people that gamble, do it in a controlled way; for 15-20% it may create some problems in their lives
- 5% of adults and 8% of those under 21 are compulsive gamblers.
- Approximately 7 million youth under 18 gamble; 4-7% of them meet criteria for problem gambling
- A 1995 survey found problem or pathological gambling in 8% of young adults 18-24 (traditional college age range).
- Problem/compulsive gamblers are disproportionately represented among males, fraternity/sorority, members, binge drinkers, alcoholics, drug abusers, youth, those obsessed with video games
Signs That Someone You Know Might Have A Problem
- Unexplained absences from school or classes.
- Sudden drop in grades.
- Change of personality.
- Possession of a large amount of money; brags about winnings.
- An unusual interest in newspapers, magazines or periodicals having to do with horseracing.
- An intense interest in gambling conversations.
- Exaggerated display of money and/or material possessions?
- Visible changes in behavior (e.g. mood changes, behavior problems, etc.)
- Increased use of gambling language, including the word “bet” in conversation.
How to Help a Friend
- Verify that the student may have a gambling problem with others
- Tell the student that you care about him or her
- Tell the student what he or she has done that has raised your concern and how you feel
- Be willing to listen to what the student has to say
- Tell the student what you’d like to see him or her do including:
- Stop gambling immediately
- Setting limits on gambling
- Talking to another trusted person
- Getting professional help
- Engage in activities that are not related to gambling, and curb your own gambling behaviors.
- Tell the student what you are willing to do. This may include:
- Assisting in making an appointment for professional counseling
- Contact the UCC at 1-7336 for consultation
- Being available to talk again; follow-up
- Remain supportive and reinforce even small efforts toward change
- Be prepared for some steps backward as a normal part of the recovery process
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