Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageStudents in Ontario handling gambling drugs and suicide concerns

By KJ Mullins     Nov 16, 2010 in Health
A study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) found that Ontario high schoolers are dealing with gambling issues, drug and alcohol use and suicide.
The study found that there are 29,000 students who have a gambling problem.
More than two-thirds of those with gambling problems have problems with substance use and a quarter have attempted suicide in the past year.
The Ontario Youth Gambling Report looked at data from over 9,000 students to monitor trends and areas of concern when it comes to gambling. The majority of students who gamble bet on card games and buy lottery tickets. Internet gambling and going to the casino is least common according to the study.
"Nearly half of Ontario students report participating in at least one form of gambling, and almost 3% scored 2 or more on a validated screening instrument, indicating that they have a gambling problem. This represents about 29,000 students in Ontario," said, Dr. Robert Mann, Senior Scientist in CAMH's Social and Epidemiological Research Department and Principal Investigator on the study in a press release`. "We also found that students who reported problem gambling indicators also reported high rates of elevated psychological distress and other potentially dangerous behaviours."
Researchers were very concerned at the high rate of attempted suicides among these youth. The study found that those who gamble are 18 times more likely to attempt to kill themselves.
Gambling problems also factor in when it comes to crime including dealing drugs and theft. The subjects were 11 times more likely to have been in gang fights and carry a handgun. More shocking is that this group is 20 times more likely to sell drugs other than cannabis.
"We know that adolescents who have problems with gambling, gaming and internet use usually have underlying and sometimes undiagnosed mental heath problems," said Dr. Bruce Ballon, Head of CAMH's Adolescent Clinical and Educational Services (A.C.E.S.) for Problem Gambling, Gaming and Internet Use. "Students, parents and teachers need more education about what to look for in youth and how to help. What this research tells us is that there are real harms associated with gambling which our public health and healthcare policies, education system and corporate citizens can't ignore."
A new curriculum has been developed by CAMH's Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario (PGIO) which is aimed at helping students enhance coping skills.
More about High school students, Gambling, Suicide
More news from
Latest News
Top News