Saturday, October 09, 2004
Gambling the gateway to addiction?

Interesting piece on teenagers who are addicted to gambling. It seems poker in all its many forms these days has supplanted video games as the entertainment of choice for young teens. In fact there are now reports surfacing of teens becoming addicted to the pastime. However of even more interest to us, are these remarks by Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gaming.

"America has always been a nation of gamblers . . . of risk takers," and kids are no exception, Whyte says. Research indicates that gambling is often the earliest of the addictive behaviors. In studies of kids younger than 17, "gambling precedes almost all other risky behaviors: smoking, substance abuse, fighting and promiscuous sex. It may be the gateway behavior that we believed marijuana was," he adds.

I become more convinced every day that some of us are simply genetically or emotionally predisposed to addiction and there is no "gateway drug" at all.

[Thanks to Preston Peet]


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