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Gambling among the youth population is growing at an alarming rate. Gambling, like alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use, is illegal for minors but is often thought of as less dangerous for young people. However, gambling can be just as damaging and disruptive to relationships, health and lifestyle as any substance abuse. On average, youths are gambling before they try alcohol, tobacco or drugs. It may start in school with a friendly wager over a sporting event, a card or dice game in the hallway or even a dare. In this day and age of technology, adolescents are a huge marketing focus through forums such as Facebook and MySpace with instant gratification situations (i.e. join this group and win a prize or play this game for a chance to win, etc…). Although this may seem harmless, it can create an urge or need for “action” among vulnerable youths. According the Florida Youth Risk Survey, adolescents who are problem gamblers are twice as likely to be drunk or high at school, far more likely to do poorer in school, more likely to skip school for six or more days during a year and 6 times more likely to carry a gun to school. The reasons given why they like to gamble were; to socialize, for entertainment, to win money and because of the excitement. The truth is that our youth needs to be educated on the dangers of gambling before their future is compromised. If you or someone you know has a problem, call 1-888-ADMIT-IT for workbooks, resources and referrals that can help.