Name: Gina Ly From: Auburn, Washington Votes: 16274
How to Combat Gambling Addictions
Addiction Awareness Scholarship
How to Combat Gambling Addictions
I would like to raise awareness to the causes of gambling addictions. Personally, I have had family members who have suffered from a gambling addiction. Although this addiction does not cause instant issues such as mental or physical damage but it will lead to severe consequences. For example, people who are addicted to gambling developed this disorder over time because this kind of addiction tends to hook the individual into an endless cycle without an escape plan. I have seen family members start out playing on social occasions which has led to daily trips to the casino. I have also seen individuals start gambling with a small amount of money which led to them losing their entire paycheck and homes. Gambling addiction is a prevalent issue in our society and we can only solve this issue by educating people with the academic findings and possible resources to dealing with this addiction as soon as possible.
Some consequences of a gambling addiction causes disruptions in major areas of life which includes psychological, physical, social, and vocational. The National Council on Problem Gambling notes the following statistics:
15 percent of Americans gamble at least once per week.
Approximately two to three percent of Americans meet the criteria for problem gambling. That’s around 6 million adults and about a half million teens.
Youth risk developing a gambling problem at a rate of about two to three times that of adults, and approximately 6 percent of college students in America have a gambling problem.
About 40 percent of people with a gambling problem started gambling before the age of 17.
Nevada has the highest prevalence of problem gambling in the country, at about 6.4 percent.
Furthermore, psychological consequences of gambling addiction for the individual and society can be related and identified to certain risk factors. These risk factors include and not limited to:
Living in a single-parent household
Having a below-median household income
Early initiation – starting before 8th grade
Playing sports at school
Experiencing problems at home
Having low-self esteem
In addition, the Mayo Clinic has identified more risk factors for the individual and society. These gambling problem risk factors include and are not limited to:
Behavior or mood disorders
Age – the problem develops more frequently in young people
Family influence – whether parents and other close adults were gamblers
Personality characteristics such as high level of being competitive, or easily bored (Frazier, 2020)
A gambling addiction can be difficult to control and recover from. There are many consequences for the individual and society as a whole because this addiction ruins relationships, affects work performance, and leads to mental health issues such as manic depression, anger, and mood swings. The danger is that these consequences gradually increase over time for the individual and society if there’s not enough awareness and prevention strategies implemented.
We as a society and as individuals can only remedy the crisis if we put in a collaborative effort. Fortunately, there is help available such as many books and research written on the subject of gambling addictions. Furthermore, there are also organizations like Gamblers Anonymous that offer a support system to individuals who are trying to change their habits. Individually, a person who is suffering from gambling, may want to consider preventive strategies from accessing gambling resources. One of the ways they can do this is by seeking safety nets such as psychological counseling, family and friends who can catch them in case they are falling off the wagon. Individuals who suffer from gambling addiction are not able to sleep, have an inability to cut back or control spending, hiding or lying about what activities they are participating on a daily basis and have an inability to function properly at work and everyday life. With the proper support network from society such as the National Helpline, individuals can seek help in every state of the United States of America. Thus, an individual who is struggling with a gambling addiction must be willing to rely on society and society must also be willing to provide that safety net for support.