Teens are the most affected group by the lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation restrictions that have been applied in all countries to limit the spread of the COVID-19. They are deprived of school, colleges, gym, and having more experiences every day.
In addition, all sports matches stopped and teens are no longer able to watch their teams during the lockdown. Therefore, there is no way to kill boredom except for online games, especially games that involve gambling (like GTA 5).
The biggest problem is that most teens may not know that charging their game credits and betting in the hope of getting financial profits is gambling in its straightforward sense!
It may then develop into an addiction, which is the frenzied desire to bet permanently to get rid of negative feelings, restore previous losses, and feel instant excitement and pleasure.
Gambling addiction poses a danger not only to the teens but also to his family and friends. The biggest problem is that if a young person feels remorse for his losses and is unable to stop, he may not seek treatment for fear of social stigma among his family and friends.
In adolescence, the brain grows and matures at an exceptional rate. Whatever activity the adolescent engages in, plays a role in his mental growth, and determines the ways that stimulate and excite him.
For example, if a teen chooses to use gambling as a relaxation activity and escape problems. So, his brain will become familiar with this activity and always want more of it. Especially since gambling stimulates the brain to release the hormone adrenaline, which gives a feeling of excitement. Also, it releases the dopamine that is secreted when consuming drugs.
Leisure and Gambling
Some teens gamble during their free time for the same reasons that make adults play as well. Some of these reasons include trying to get rid of boredom. Making new friends. Escape problems. Looking for excitement.
Although the reasons are very similar, it is important to remember that teens’ developing brains are not prepared to make the best decisions that will ensure their financial security. Many of them think that money is a tool for fun only!
Teens also choose the same types of gambling as adults. According to a study conducted by GamStop during 2018-2019, teens gamble on lottery tickets, scratch cards, and sports matches. In addition, many teens gamble on video games using real money or using high-value in-game items.
Although there aren’t many regular forms of gambling today, only online gambling is growing notably! It is important that teens are aware of gambling problems. Also, they must learn how to use their free time in healthy activities.
Impacts of Adolescent Gambling Addiction
According to justuk.club independent site, Gambling is the “hidden addiction” because it does not affect physiologically the addict! Also, he can hide his gambling activities from his peers, family, and friends. Quite a contrast to substance addiction, where alcohol and drug abuse is known by external signs that appear on the addict. Such as slurring of speech, enlarged pupils, difficulty moving, and irregular sleep.
Thus, it is difficult to detect this addiction. However, it is easy to educate teens about its dangers and spread the prevention culture. Among the most prominent impacts of gambling addiction:
- Committing crimes
- Substance abuse
- Destruction of social and family relationships.
- Poor academic performance.
- Psychiatric illnesses (such as depression, isolation, anxiety).
- Poor health
What are the Useful Activities for Teens?
If you are a teen, you should know that your parents and teachers try to deal with you with limits; because you are unruly. Reject all their advice. And have flooding tendencies towards adventure.
So, you must work to complete the task of raising yourself. Knowing what is right and wrong without risking your future. Always remember that you can rebel against anything at any moment. But the biggest loser will be you!
However, if you are gambling to spend free time only, and you do not have addictive motives. There are many beneficial activities that you can enjoy in your leisure:
- Engage in housework to help the family.
- Helping the elderly in your neighborhood.
- Volunteer work.
- Learning and getting a part-time job.
Identifying the most appropriate means of saving. Such as bank accounts for youth. Often give high benefits to encourage teens to save.
There are a lot of games available on smartphones and computers that include gambling activities. Unluckily, neither governments nor families can prevent these games for teens! As we live today in the open skies’ era. No barriers or limits that can prevent anybody access anything at any time via the Internet. So, you should always be wise. Especially when it comes to spending money and use your time.