What conscientious parent would keep quiet as a son's compulsive drinking drove him to quit college, abandon friendships or maybe a marriage, apply for jobs that enabled nightlong boozing?
It's unthinkable. Yet many parents, it seems, are willing to overlook and sometimes even encourage comparably destructive behaviors in their young men (and perhaps the occasional young woman) who have a thing for gambling.
By "thing" we mean addiction...
"We ran a story about young professional poker players, demonstrating that they're all degenerate gamblers even though they make a living at it. Then we ran a story about some kid who went broke at the blackjack tables and entered GA. Be afraid! Very afraid!"
Still worse is the naiveté, described by one Canadian expert, of parents who eagerly organize poker nights for their young teens because they "would prefer them to be in their basements playing poker than doing something 'more dangerous' like drinking and doing drugs."
This is as close as this sorry editorial comes to a policy recomendation. Don't organize poker parties for your kids, because they might become addicts! Also, withold any and all alcohol from your teens until they turn 21 and magically learn responsible drinking! Or their bodies can finally tolerate it or something.
Gambling addiction is a real problem. Parents should be aware of the potential. Running a doom-laden editorial about it is stupid.
Why is young adult gambling more of a problem than any other addiction? Or more than loading oneself up with tens of thousands of dollars of student loans?