Gambling is often seen as a way to deal with negative emotions or socialize. However, there are many different ways to deal with boredom and increase happiness without resorting to gambling. Instead of gambling, consider a variety of other activities to relieve boredom, such as exercising, volunteering, or practicing relaxation techniques. If you can’t stop gambling entirely, consider reaching out to your friends and family for support. You may even find a peer support group or 12-step recovery program, such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. To join, you need to have a sponsor, who is another gambler and is willing to provide support.
The impacts of gambling on society and individual members can be measured on many levels. Social and interpersonal impacts can be categorized as costs and benefits, and are divided into four main categories: personal, community, and problem gambling. These impacts can range from short-term to long-term, and can involve economic and labor costs, health and well-being, and more. Fortunately, parents can prevent their children from developing a gambling problem by establishing positive extracurricular activities instead.
A public health approach to the effects of gambling is more balanced and comprehensive. It takes into account the positive and negative effects of gambling across the spectrum. Studies of gambling’s impact on communities, including nongamblers, have focused on the negative effects of problem gambling, while failing to explore the positive effects of the activity. This approach also recognizes the positive effects of gambling, such as its ability to improve the lives of those around the problem gambler.