For the average teenager, a significant portion of their formative years is spent inside the halls of their high school. From rigorous class schedules to sports and afterschool activities, these developing individuals are exposed to various influences throughout their four short years. Still, these experiences can have drastic long-term consequences on their future development. One area that may not be considered is how the institution can play a role in the development of a gambling problem in students.
While the influence of their friends and peers can have the most noticeable effect on their attitudes toward gambling, their high schools can also have a lasting impact on their development. Unfortunately, it’s a role that can go either way — either preparing their young charges for the outside world or leaving them susceptible to teenage problem gambling in Atlantic City, NJ. Here are some of the ways that high schools can help prepare their students to deal with gambling temptations.
How Young Is Too Young to Be a Problem Gambler?
While the legal gambling age in New Jersey is 21, that doesn’t stop young people from gambling. Whether the students have a locally run poker game with their peers or they find ways to engage in sports betting, the world around them has made it easier — and “cooler” — to gamble regularly. While older and more developed individuals can practice responsible gambling habits, developing adolescents may struggle to curb their gambling urges.
High school students gain more independence and disposable income and often face greater levels of peer pressure that can lead them down a self-destructive path. While parents may live in blissful ignorance of their children’s struggles, finding ways to teach them about the potential dangers of problem gambling can prove vitally important.
Do High Schools Offer Problem Gambling Education?
As the avenues for students to bet actual money on a wide range of subjects grow, finding ways to teach them about the potential dangers and pitfalls of problem gambling becomes more vital. Yet, while over 30 states have legalized gambling in some capacity, providing the proper resources to teach students about the risks of problem gambling has felt lacking.
With more students coming clean about gambling with real money, teaching them about the inherent dangers can make a significant difference in their experiences. While many states don’t offer mandated education programs, some are taking steps to help inform kids and teach them about responsible gaming and where they can have access to more resources. The New Jersey Legislature has just introduced a bill that would require education about gambing risks be added to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health & Physical Education.
The Benefits of School-Sponsored Problem Gambling Education Programs
For school systems looking into providing their students with a problem gambling education program, there is a wide range of benefits to consider before implementing the program. Many students get their information from either the internet or through word of mouth by their peers. Unfortunately, some of these resources aren’t properly vetted and can provide a wealth of false information that can send their gambling problem spiraling out of control. Having a readily accessible program with accurate data, information, and resources can help ensure students have the correct information at their fingertips.
Having a dedicated program like this can help teachers deliver a cohesive message to their young students and provide them with vital information and insight into the world of problem gambling. In addition, with the right amount of time and resources, these programs can help better prepare them for the recent increase in avenues for legalized gambling when they come of age.
Other Resources Are Available to Help
While many schools are still in the early stages of potentially offering problem gambling education programs, students that have become at risk of problem gambling still have available resources to help them in their recovery. 800-GAMBLER has provided residents of New Jersey with a wide range of resources and assistance with their gambling problems for years. These services aim to help give people of all ages, including teenagers, the help they need in the face of a worsening gambling problem.
If you or a loved one has a gambling problem, please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free 24/7 helpline to get the help you need. Reach out to our team and learn more about how you can tell if your teenager has a gambling problem, or learn more about our available programs today.