Signs a young person has a gambling problem
These are the signs to look out for if you think someone you’re close to might have a gambling problem
There are a few signs you can look out for if you think a friend has developed a gambling problem. Even if they won’t admit it themselves, if you notice a change in them, especially around their gambling habits, then there is a chance they are a problem gambler.
What is a problem gambler?
A problem gambler is someone who is unable to stop gambling despite the negative consequences. Even if a person is losing money, friends and family, a problem gambler will keep on gambling.
If you're worried about someone close you, find out how you can support someone with a gambling problem here.
How to tell a young person has a gambling problem
- Spending more and more money on gambling
- Using money meant for things like buying lunch, taking the bus, or paying rent to gamble instead
- Having debt that they can’t explain
- Spending a lot of time on their phone or computer using gambling apps and websites
- Their grades have dropped and they can’t get their schoolwork or college assignments finished on time
- Talking a lot about gambling, bragging about their gambling wins and minimising their losses
- An increased interest in news sites and sports results
- Lying about time and money spent on gambling when they’re asked about it
- No explanation for having large amounts of cash or expensive items
- Borrowing or stealing money to gamble or to pay off a debt
- A change in their personality or behaviour
- Sudden, unexplained absences from school, college or work
- Arriving late and leaving early for school, college or work
- Losing interest in activities they usually enjoy
- Spending less time with family and friends
- Intense mood swings, especially after winning or losing a bet
How can I stop gambling?
Gambling can be difficult to give up and you may have to try a few different things, but recovery is possible no matter how hopeless the situation may feel. You can call Problem Gambling Ireland for information and support on 089 241 5401.
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