PROBLEM
GAMBLING

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800.522.4700
Never gamble more than you can afford to lose.

You’re wagering much more than money. Everything you care about is on the table.

A real disorder with real risks.

Problem gambling is a behavioral addiction.

LIKE WITH OTHER MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS, THERE ARE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS, INCLUDING:

An early big win (leading to false expectations)

Easy access to gambling

A recent loss or change, such as divorce, job loss, retirement or death of a loved one

Financial problems

Often feeling bored or lonely

A history of risk-taking or impulsive behavior

Having few interests, lack of direction

Mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety

Abuse or trauma

Family history of problem gambling

Problems with alcohol or drugs

A history of gambling or overspending

Holding mistaken beliefs about the odds of winning

Starting to gamble as a child or teenager

GAMBLING + TEENS

RISKS + EFFECTS TEENS

While only 4 to 7 percent of teens display gambling problems, high school students are twice as likely to developing a gambling problem as adults.

The rise of internet gambling has lead many teens on a dark path towards addiction. Most teen gambling addicts are male, but some female teens are becoming more involved.

HERE ARE THE RISKS THAT COME WITH TEENAGE GAMBLING:

  • Family and school problems
  • Loss of friendships
  • Loss of job
  • Debt and money loss
  • Crime
  • Depression
  • Suicide

WARNING SIGNS TEENS

Know the warning signs.

The lure for teens and gambling can be very strong. Gambling can quickly turn from social to pathological. Every other priority falls away and the limits that are always tough to stick to as a young adult are completely abandoned when gambling.

KNOW THESE WARNING SIGNS THAT YOU OR YOUR TEEN MAY BE DEVELOPING A GAMBLING ADDICTION:

Making more bets to try to win back lost bets

Pawning items or stealing money for gambling

Dramatic mood swings connected with winning and losing

Missing important events to gamble

Lying about how much money you’re losing or how often you are gambling

Believing that gambling is a good or easy way to win money

Using gambling to cope with loneliness, stress or depression

Frustration when daily life interferes with gambling

Spending more time at online betting sites

Carrying dice, cards or poker chips with you

Carrying large amounts of cash that you have won

Carrying large amounts of cash for gambling

Gambling with money intended for lunch, the bus, gas, etc.

Skipping class or homework so you can gamble

GAMBLING + ADULTS

RISKS + EFFECTS ADULTS

When you can’t stop.

What may begin as a social way to pass the time can turn into something much darker. The rush of taking greater risks can lead to greater consequences, and not just financial.

Gambling can be detrimental to your health, leading to anxiety, stress and sleep problems.

OTHER RISKS INCLUDE:
Family and school problems, loss of friendships, loss of job, debt and money loss, crime, depression and suicide

WARNING SIGNS ADULTS

Know the warning signs.

Gambling can start innocently. Maybe it’s a lottery ticket or a trip to a casino. A lucky streak can get someone hooked, and after that, no amount of winning or losing will get anyone to quit without help.

HERE ARE THE WARNING SIGNS THAT YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE MAY BE DEVELOPING A GAMBLING ADDICTION:

Withdrawal from family and friends

Missing personal or household items

Hiding gambling losses from family members

Secrecy or deception when asked about gambling or finances

Late notices or telephone calls from creditors

Talks only about wins, not losses

Liquidation of assets

Failed attempts to cut back or stop gambling

Extreme interest in gambling-related matters

Away from home for long, unexplained periods of time

Gambling as a way to escape from problems

Missing work

Making more bets to try to win back lost bets

Borrowing or stealing money for gambling

Changes in personality as gambling progresses

How to help,
and cope.

Because most people aren’t able to quit on their own, friends and family are key.

  • Educate yourself about problem gambling
  • Be calm and supportive
  • Tell the person how their gambling affects you
  • Remind them of their good qualities
  • Learn to say “no” to them
  • Get help from other friends and family, counselors and self-help groups
  • Learn about triggers and how to deal with urges to gamble
  • Don’t rescue the gambler by paying off debts
  • Be patient — recovery takes time
Protect yourself.

Problem gambling doesn’t just affect the gambler. Keep track of all money spent and owed and safeguard bank accounts (so the gambler can’t access them).

ORGANIZATIONS THAT CAN HELP

RESOURCES

24/7 HOTLINE – GET HELP
800.522.4700