A public health approach to gambling studies examines the impacts of gambling across the severity spectrum, from occasional fun games to pathological gamblers. By focusing only on the negative effects of gambling, researchers underestimate the costs of the entire industry. The benefits of gambling are equally important and often far outweigh the costs of pathological gambling. A public health approach also considers positive effects of gambling, such as increased happiness and a reduction in crime rates. However, public health studies are still incomplete.
A nascent international research literature suggests that problem gambling rates are higher among the college-aged population, possibly because of broader developmental issues. In one study, researchers found that problem gambling rates were 1.3% among 16-24-year-old men and 0.2% amongst 65-74-year-old women. These differences in rates suggest that the underlying causes of gambling are complex and must be studied more thoroughly. But in any event, there are several ways to recognize whether problem gambling is a factor in your life.
One way to spot a problem child is to talk to him about his or her gambling behavior. In order to prevent pathological gambling, parents should talk to their teens about responsible gambling. Parents should also monitor their teenager’s mobile device for gambling apps. Besides parents, many communities provide gambling resources to parents. You can also seek medical advice from a licensed professional if you feel your child may be suffering from gambling addiction. This is a great way to prevent problems before they arise.
A good way to recognize that gambling is a problem and take steps to overcome it is to strengthen your support system. If your loved ones are not supportive, you can make new friends outside of gambling. Join a community that supports a healthy lifestyle and gives you a new purpose. For people with a more serious gambling addiction, there is a 12-step program called Gamblers Anonymous. Taking the 12-step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous will guide you through the 12-step recovery process. In addition to this, you can get a sponsor from a former gambler who will guide you in overcoming the problem.
Responsible gambling requires understanding the odds and knowing when to stop. You must expect to lose, and you should budget money for the gambling activity, just as you would any other type of expense. Remember that gambling is not an easy way to become rich, and you should only gamble responsibly. And if you think gambling is fun, you should remember that most people who gamble don’t need to win big money. You can still make money in other ways but that’s not what it’s all about.
Problem gambling can lead to a host of problems. First of all, it is important to identify why gambling is a problem for you. If you are unable to control your urge to gamble, you probably have a mood disorder. When this happens, it is time to get help. If gambling is your only outlet for expressing feelings of boredom, you might want to consider seeking counselling or therapy. Fortunately, there are many free, confidential and 24/7 services available.