So what if I gamble? What does that mean to me?
Gambling is just as addictive as drugs and alcohol. Young people who get “hooked” on excitement-based/thrill-seeking activities, such as gambling, begin to need the brain rush that comes with these activities on a daily basis. They seek the next game or the next bet the same way drugs addicts seek their next fix.1 The earlier on in life a person begins to gamble, the more likely they are to develop a problem later in life.
For many people, gambling is just entertainment which does not lead to many negative consequences. However, for the first time youth are regularly being exposed to legalized gambling and an array of advertising (for various gambling venues). Some students gamble regularly and most have tried some form of gambling, and the increased exposure has made it much easier for teens to become compulsive gamblers.2
Fortunately, just like other addictions, compulsive gambling is diagnosable and treatable.