Internet has doubled child gamblers in five years
24 October 2005, CORDOBA — The number of children who are addicted to gambling has doubled in the past five years because of the arrival of the Internet and mobile telephones, an expert says.
24 October 2005
CORDOBA — The number of children who are addicted to gambling has doubled in the past five years because of the arrival of the Internet and mobile telephones, an expert says.
The Internet and mobiles lead to many children becoming addicted to betting in some form or another, it is claimed.
Dr Román Fernández, specialist in treating addictions at the Cordoba Association for the Rehabilitation of Players, said: "Adolescents and sometimes children use this technology in an inappropriate way and they become no more than new tools to become addicted."
Psychologist Angel Abad said most addicts were capable of spending every free moment in front of a computer.
They would also be adolescents who use their mobiles without any control.
Gambing addiction affects boys and girls in equal numbers.
Most are aged between 12 and 15 years old.
One symptom, which often makes parents realise their children have a problem, is a fall in academic results, said Fernández.
Children also become very irritable, introverted from the real world and can appear to be depressed.
Fernández said: "Child gambling is the result of creating a fantasy world through the Internet or as a result of being given a mobile at too early an age."
Infant addicts are no longer those who pour money into slot machines, but those who are addicted to new technology like the Internet or mobiles.
A major difference between adult addicts is children often do not realise they are hooked, said Abad.
But they can respond to treatment faster than adults.
They are given group therapy, individual interviews with specialists and take anti-depressants.
Also, they must be given family support.
Parents have to closely control the time child addicts spend in front of computers – no more than two hours every day being the limit.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news