People with a gambling addiction should start by strengthening their support networks. They should try to reach out to friends and family who don’t engage in gambling. They can also enroll in education classes, volunteer for a good cause, and join peer support groups. One such group is Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. Once a member of the group, the individual is assigned a sponsor, a fellow gambler who can provide guidance.
Children who gamble might not have any financial problems at this point. They might exhibit secrecy and denial that they have a problem. They may even say that they prefer gambling to drugs. Parents of teenagers with gambling problems can seek help from a GP or psychologist. They can also try contacting Gambling Help Online for email and webchat support. Gambling has become a popular way for young people to escape the stress and boredom of their daily lives.
The impacts of gambling vary, depending on the type of game, the environment in which it is available, and the amount of revenue generated. Using a conceptual model, these impacts can be assessed. Gambling impacts can be seen as negative or positive, and they can be quantified using health-related quality of life (HRQL) weights, which measure the per-person burden of a health state on quality of life. This approach has been used to measure the intangible social costs of gambling, including the harms that gamblers may cause to their social network.