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Gambling information, advice and support for young people

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CJ’s story

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I recently discovered one of my closest friends has been battling a gambling addiction for the last decade.

While we were at Uni he put on small bets every weekend, accumulators and first scorers – the usual stuff many members of our group would enjoy. We never thought anything of it, and why would we? It went to the back of our minds for the next few years, and we never gave the notion he could be addicted a second thought.

But, in the last few years his behaviour turned in small ways, setting off small alarm bells. He was always out of money, needing to borrow something seemingly every month. He seemed down and distant, constantly on his phone. He was nearly normal, but we knew him well enough that we suspected there was something under the surface. Unfortunately it wasn’t something we pushed hard enough to find out, nor he felt comfortable enough to share until it was a really serious issue.

The good news is he is now recovering, and able to talk about it openly and honestly. I guess my only advice to others would be the usual: Talk to your closest friends properly, try and get them to open up, and always be there for them, just to chat, be a shoulder to lean on. Hopefully if you’re there for them, they might be able to talk these things through before they become really serious.

Are you worried about someone?

If someone close to you (this might be a family member or friend) is gambling too much, it can affect your mental health, school work and life at home.

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