Pathological gambling on rise in Croatia

NEWS 19.05.202416:26 0 komentara

As many as 73% of Croatian secondary school students have tried betting, and 20% of them regularly bet and gamble in a country that currently has 50,000 addicts and a growing trend of pathological gambling, it was warned at a recent conference at the Catholic Faculty of Theology in Split.

Experts stressed that there was a lack of interdisciplinary dialogue about gambling addiction, which, like any other addiction, has multiple causes and consequences for the sufferer, the family, and the wider community.

Young people’s gambling is a bigger and more dangerous phenomenon than gambling in general, warned social pedagogue Toni Maglica, pointing out that in our country young people most often engage in sports betting.

He called it a “silent pandemic” which is difficult to detect, but very dangerous, and recalled studies that show that around 73% of secondary school students have tried betting, while 20% of young men regularly bet and gamble.

“In that case, we can talk about dangerous behaviours that can develop into an addiction,” said Maglica, adding that the number of betting shops and advertising should be limited.

He recalled that we went through a similar problem with alcohol and called on citizens to engage in activism – lobbying, advocacy, and explaining how harmful and dangerous gambling is.

Zeljka Radosevic, a therapist at the Club of Treated Gambling Addicts in Split, underscored the importance of involving the family in the treatment process, because it is the family that initiates help for a person who has a gambling problem.

The provision of help is most often carried out in cooperation with hospitals, because a large number of people who have a problem with gambling develop difficulties in the form of anxiety and depression, and often also personality disorders.

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