Gambling in young people: how to fight it

Addictions don’t always involve substance abuse, as they can occur without the need for medication. One case of this is compulsive gambling in young people or gambling addiction.

Thanks to advances in technology, young people are increasingly using electronic media to socialize and have fun. However, some adolescents run the risk of using video games as a coping mechanism in difficult situations. This adversely affects their healthy development in other aspects of life.

This problem has been understudied compared to other addictions involving drug use. However, it’s important to recognize its severity and find the best way to deal with it. Furthermore, we must not forget that casino games and betting are also part of the situation, even among teenagers.

What is Compulsive Gambling?

Gambling, also called pathological gamblingrefers to excessive and uncontrolled performance of recreational activities. Gambling abuse is seen in the intensity and frequency of the behavior or the amount of money invested. It also negatively interferes with family, social, academic and work relationships.

It’s kind of an addiction without drugsThus, the individual finds it impossible to resist the urges. Likewise, he experiences a growing subjective tension before performing the act, which eases as he performs it, experiencing pleasure and gratification.

Gambling and card games are classic examples of compulsive gambling. Moreover, the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) on pathological gambling specifies it repeated gambling dominates the lives of pathological gamblers. On the other hand, we would have video game use disorder, according to strict medical terms.

Gambling in adolescence.
Technology has facilitated the emergence of gambling among young people.

What leads to gambling in young people?

Adolescence is a developmental stage that involves physical, mental and relational changes. Which makes it a time fraught with conflict. In this way, the family and social context in which the individual develops plays an important role in dealing adequately with difficult situations.

Gambling in young people is, in some cases, an inadequate strategy to overcome emotional difficulties. Adolescents with gambling or other addictions usually live in a family context conflict or lack of affection, which favors the appearance of these addictive behaviors.

On the other hand, pathological gambling also develops when it is associated with obtaining a prize or winning. Among them are getting money, emotional arousal, and interacting with other gamer friends.

It should be noted that gambling is a way to earn money quickly and can be a factor in starting this business. Especially in a population that still lacks the means to achieve economic independence.

Finally, compulsive gambling in young people is usually associated with other mental complicationsFor example:

  • Substance abuse.
  • Mood disorders, such as depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Attention deficit and hyperactivity.
  • Personality disorders.

In these cases, there is usually an individual predisposition to suffer from mental complications, making them more susceptible to developing pathological gambling as a coping mechanism in difficult situations.

How to fight gambling in young people?

The treatment par excellence for this problem is psychotherapy., which has effective methods to combat compulsive gambling. In addition to this, the support of family and significant others is important.

Family and social support

First of all, It is important to foster a supportive and understanding environment for the young person with compulsive gambling. One way is through the consolidation of positive emotional bonds and effective communication between family members, which favors the establishment of emotional stability.

Furthermore, family cohesion allows the adolescent to have a space in which to take refuge and acquire the necessary security to face the difficulties that arise.

psychological therapy

It is the best way to fight this addiction. In it, a series of techniques aimed at training social skills, problem solving and relapse prevention.

Among the most effective are the following:

  • Behavioral: one of them is imagined desensitization and relaxation. It is a technique that seeks to reduce the anxiety that occurs with missing the game. To do this, relaxation methods are usually taught and established in the young person that allow him to calm down in situations that encourage him to play.
  • cognitive: they try to change the erroneous beliefs about gambling and the illusion of control that the youngster with compulsive gambling experiences in this practice.
  • Group therapies: try to restructure the cognitive distortionsfacilitate bonding with other people who share the same situation, make it possible to express one’s difficulties to others with the same problems and seek solutions and coping mechanisms together.
Young gambler.
The approaches are varied and depend on each individual, as adolescents do not always respond to treatment in the same way.

pharmacological therapy

It is usually recommended as a complementary treatment in severe cases of compulsive gambling in young people. People who need it usually have depressive symptoms and high anxiety. It is important that, in addition, you are attending psychological therapy so that the result is effective.

Gambling among young people is a social problem

When there is compulsive gambling in a young person, we are not just having an individual problem. This expresses a social evil and, often, the intimate network of containment and support is the one that has failed to prevent it. That is why the family plays a decisive role in the disorder.

There are various approach techniques and it is important that the professionals involved know how to use and combine the most effective ones for each case. One teenager is not the same as another and this requires adaptation.

The post Gambling in young people: how to fight it first appeared in research-school.



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