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While gambling can be fun and safe if done responsibly, problem gambling is a major threat to academic success and financial well-being. Most students are safe and responsible, but some have a gambling problem. Consequences of problem gambling include huge debt, addiction, disruption of family or peer relationships, bad credit, and academic problems.

Signs of a problem include:

  • Borrowing money frequently
  • Complaining about debts more than usual
  • Selling prized possessions
  • Theft to cover debt
  • Drastic mood swings
  • Increased Internet use
  • Increased phone charges
  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Personality changes, such as irritability and dishonesty
  • Lying about gambling activity
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Alcohol and other drug use

How to help a friend

  • Learn as much as you can about problem gambling, including its warning signs, negative impacts, and options for help and recovery. Check out our resources below for information.
  • When confronting your friend, stay calm and be supportive. Recognize their good qualities and any positive steps they have made, but tell them how their gambling affects you.
  • Learn to say “no” and try to unify friends and family in saying no as well.
  • Get support from other friends, family members, or a counselor who can help you understand the problem and its effects.
  • Remember that change takes time and effort.

More gambling help