Gambling is not a risk-free alternative to alcohol or drug use for our youth. Large-scale prevalence studies and reviews all confirm the high prevalence rates of youth gambling. It is time we consider the effects of gambling on our youth and include it in our prevention programs.
As a community we can promote the protective factors and learn to reduce risk factors that prevention experts say affect the ability of our youth to live healthy lives.
According to prevention experts, if you reduce one risk factor, you will affect a number of different problem behaviors. On the other hand, working to strengthen protective factors may buffer the exposure to risk.