Volume 95, Issue 55

Thursday, January 10, 2002
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The Gazette's ultimate guide to addictions

Smoking - what a drag

Mmmm... Coffeeeee

Don't gamble away your life savings

I love Magnum P.I.

Don't get too pumped

Marajuana is not addictive

The myth of the bottomless mug

New Year's resolutions

Don't gamble away your life savings

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em and know when you are in the clutches of the evil Gamblor.

Gambling, both legal and illegal, has seen a rapid rise in the last century, said Bonnie Orvidas, addiction counsellor with Problem Gambling Services at Alcohol and Drugs Services of Thames Valley.

Problem gaming can take on passive forms, including scratch tickets, slot machines and bingo, as well as active forms, such as blackjack and poker.

"You can acquire some knowledge [in active gambling], but it is an illusion that skill will make you successful," she added.

Males have traditionally been attracted to active forms of gambling, while females often participate in more passive forms.

For the age group of 18 to 24, betting on sports is the most common form of gambling addiction, especially among males, she noted. "There are a higher amount of young adults gambling, but we should not ring the alarm bells yet," she said.

"People mature out of gambling. It's much like people drinking too much alcohol in college and later, when working full-time, saying 'I can't do this anymore.'"

She said PGS offers consultation for those with a gambling problem.

Orvidas recommends gambling with a set amount of money and leaving your bank card and credit card at home. "Gambling to make money and gambling to chase your losses are [signs of a serious problem]."

-Chris Lackner

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