Problem gambling is a serious problem that can affect a person’s life and relationships. It’s a form of self-soothing, a way to relieve boredom, and a social activity. However, gambling can also affect a person’s finances, relationships, and career. Here are some ways to combat problem gambling. Using your free time to exercise and spend time with friends who aren’t gambling can be helpful, but should not replace therapy.
First, parents should monitor their children’s gambling habits. Teenagers will imitate their parents’ gambling behavior, so it’s important to talk with them about responsible gambling habits early on. Monitor their devices, and be sure they don’t download any gambling apps. If you’re concerned, talk to a health care professional. Teens can also join various communities that offer resources and support to address their concerns about gambling. There are many resources available to help parents combat the problems associated with gambling.
Next, it’s important to strengthen your support system. Don’t limit yourself to your family and friends; seek out new friends who don’t involve gambling. Join a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous, a 12-step recovery program patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous. To get involved in the program, you need to be assigned a sponsor, a former gambler who can offer guidance and support to help you overcome your problem.
Gambling is a major industry, generating over $335 billion worldwide. In many cultures, gambling is performed with materials that have value. For example, a player of marbles might bet on marbles, while players of Magic: The Gathering might stake collectible game pieces, resulting in a meta-game about the player’s collection. The rules of gambling vary from country to country, so check with your local authorities before participating in any gambling games.