Problem gambling, commonly referred to as gambling addiction and clinically recognized as gambling disorder affects people of all ages, from adolescents as young as 10 to adults in their senior years. It’s not a matter of being irresponsible-it’s an addiction rooted in the brain just as are the drug and alcohol problems of millions of people.
Of U.S. residents ages 14-21, approximately 2.1 percent struggle with problem gambling. Another 6.5 percent are at-risk.
If our teenagers’ problem gambling isn’t recognized early, it can have devastating consequences that can affect the rest of their lives. What can we do to help? How can we guide them to recovery and remain gambling-free? We begin by educating ourselves and those around us on youth gambling and problem gambling.