Adolescents are a high-risk group for developing gambling problems

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

By Andrea Rathsack

Adolescents ages 12-19 are a high-risk group for developing gambling problems. It is often very difficult to discover. Because they are not legally old enough to gamble, and there are no visible signs as there are for other addictions, youth gambling can go unnoticed. While the majority of students will not become problem gamblers, knowing about gambling disorder and the warning signs will help them make good choices and provide support to friends and family as they enter their later teen and adult years, including college.

The WCPG offers schools, classrooms, and parent organizations presentations on problem gambling, absolutely free. Presentations are interactive and educational.

Between September 2014 and September 2015, the WCPG has reached over 1360 youth through classroom presentations and youth exhibits.

These presentations have been well received by both educators and students with many comments like the following, "I really enjoyed the presentation, I learned a lot of things about gambling and addiction. I think it really put into perspective how easy it can be together addicted to gambling. It definitely makes me want to be cautious for when I begin to be old enough to start gambling for fun (which is not that far away). Now that I know it's an actual disorder, I will take it more seriously."

Through the end of the year, WCPG is scheduled to reach an additional 1130 students through classroom presentations. That number continues to rise as new requests are received each week. Please help spread the word that presentations are available statewide! Contact Andrea for more information: outreach@wi-problemgamblers.org

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