Sometimes the warning signs of addiction are obvious. If a heroin user overdoses or an alcoholic gets arrested for drunk driving, you know that they need help – and quick. Though, there are other forms of addiction, like gambling, that are just as dangerous but harder to spot.
Did you know that over six million adults currently meet the criteria for problem gambling? And, what is even more alarming is that college students represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the population who gamble online on a regular basis.
In a recent study published by the University of Connecticut, researchers found that 23 percent of college students reporting gambling online and 6.3 percent did so each week.
While placing the occasional “friendly wager” may seem innocuous at first, it can escalate into compulsive behaviors that can cause many profoundly negative psychological, physical and social repercussions.
It’s important to note that there are warning signs of a gambling addiction. If your college student is exhibiting some of all of the symptoms below of a gambling addiction, it’s important to consult an experienced addiction recovery specialist for help.
5 Telltale Signs of a Gambling Addiction:
1. Escalating financial losses and excessive credit card or personal debt. Gambling addicts often feel that the need to place bets even when they run out of money and often start to borrow money from others or fund their habit with credit cards or short-term loans. Some even resort to selling their personal property to support their gambling when their financial reserves are depleted.
2. Exhibit extreme feelings of sadness and remorse after losing. While gambling is often referred to as a “hidden illness” because there are no physical symptoms, they may talk about feeling depressed after losing money and express regret, shame and guilt over their behavior.
3. Repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling. Without the help of addiction recovery professionals, gambling addicts may try, unsuccessfully, to stop on their own – creating a negative cycle of addiction and relapse.
4. Being secretive about how often and how much the person is betting. Many compulsive gamblers often lie about how much or how often they bet. Addicts may start to spend more time alone, avoiding friends and family members.
5. Stealing money from friends and family. When the gambling addiction becomes more severe, some resort to actually stealing money from their roommates, parents and co-workers in a desperate attempt to continue funding their addiction.
Left untreated, a gambling addiction can disrupt the addict’s ability to form healthy personal relationships and interfere with work and social activities. If your son is dealing with a problem gambling addiction, help him find the support he needs and consult an experienced addiction rehabilitation facility.
Getting the Help Your Child Needs
If you believe your child is struggling with addiction, getting treatment is essential. Although most college campuses have a mental health center for students, these facilities are often overburdened and understaffed. 10 Acre Ranch specializes in treating men ages 18 and older who are struggling with addiction issues and drug and alcohol abuse, offering residential rehab. Call (877) 228-4679 to get help for your college student or learn more about our men’s-only CA rehab program.