College Student with gambling problem

<p>All new to me, but I'm told there are many web sites popular with college students who play poker and other games for connsiderable amounts of money. A friend has a son who has had addiction problems in the past and is clearly an addictive personality. He is a very smart kid who is attending an average State U and doing poorly. The latest problem seems to be these sites. It appears out of control as he has spent money he needed for school and basics. Advice on how to deal with this?</p>

<p>Are you dealing with it, or is your friend?</p>

<p>Funny weenie, as I posted this I thought, here we go with "my friend.". In this case, it's really my friend. A male single parent who has great intentions but not a lot of parental know how. I can be pretty handy in what to do with kids in a lot of situations, but this one truly stumps me. This kid, on the whole stumps me. So bright, attractive, athletic and one of the biggist underachievers I've ever known. He has blown more opportunities than most kids ever get. But now I seem him truly sinking. There seems to be more and more ways to get into trouble as he gets older. In high school he was suspended numerous times. Also had some runs in with the police. Still landed at a decent college. Had a pretty dismal freshman year. Dad got him therapy over the summer and all hoped for a better sophmore year. The kid says the right things. Then left Dad holding the bag for debts and revealed the gambling. It was going to stop. Just told Dad he won a bunch of money. On top of this he is rooming with known druggies, telling Dad his drug days are over. I am speechless. Anyone with a thought?</p>

<p>My thought: that Carolyn was right about you in the other thread you started.</p>

<p>Isn't there a Gamblers Anonymous somewhere? For some reason I smelled drugs from reading your first post. It has been my experience that drug money and debts are frequently explained as gambling wins and losses. The kid needs some heavy duty counseling. If he tests positive on drug testing, it may be possible to get him into some rehabilitative program. I think Dad needs to talk to the counseling services at the college to see what is available there but I think that the kid may need to spend some time at home or at some program to "dry out" regardless whether the issue at hand is drugs or gambling. He needs to get a list of the such programs in his area to prepare for when the kid bottoms out. The problem is the timing of any intervention as sometimes they do straighten out themselves and intervening does lead to problems in of itself.</p>

<p>Also, kids sometimes just spend way too much money at school. My roommate at college was in way over head having spend not only every dime given to her, but had emptied out the cash reserve account that was there for emergencies and to prevent check bouncing. She is perfectly responsible now. And I have gone over the top a few times myself. Dad needs to get to the bottom of the problem. Is it drugs, gambling, or just plain financial irresponsibility? Or any combination of those or other things. That alone is going to be tough as kids are not always honest about these things. Good luck to him.</p>

<p>It's funny that gambling seems to be big on campuses lately. I cant talk about what is happening on the websites however, I just had dinner last night with a friends who have sons at Muhlenberg and Tulane. the Muhlenberg parent told me how her son is played poker and happened to be up $60 while his roomate was up $1,000. I asked her if the guys realize if they are up this amount of money, that someone(s) out of the same amount of money. </p>

<p>At the same time she has just received his midterm grades and is really not please with the progress he is making as a prospective engineering major. The Tulane parent chimed in that her son also goes to games and how one freshman(not him) lost over $1500.</p>

<p>I would try to see if the campus has student mental health services. Definitely the best first stop for him.</p>

<p>Driver, as to your and Carolyn;s issues, who frankly cares who I am? If I'm fresca does it make my issues any different. Would people post anything differently if they know my name, address and social security number? This is beyond sanity.</p>

<p>Weenie and other helpful posters, here's the thing, Dad has gotten so credible counseling. A very good therapist saw him all summer and reported to Dad that he was in good shape. He lies well. I'm concerned that the quality of help at the broke State school he attends will not be great. As I'm sure you know, you can also not make a 19 year old go for help. So some questions? Would you pull financial support for college unless he gets serious help? Shold all sources of funds be cut off? A meal plan and tuition paid but no cash?</p>

<p>I love playing poker!
Alas my Sunday night games are a thing of the past, and I am not the type to buy lotto tickets or go to Vegas.
My daughters school I haven't heard of big poker games but they do play strip Monopoly and CandyLand ( no they aren't apparently drinking either)
I think if someone addictions are interfering with their daily life, then they need to handle addicitons before they can proceed. Treatment, tough love whatever.</p>

<p>I've never had to practice tough love. It always sounded simple in theory, something I would of course do if necessary. Now, because Dad is the man in my life and I share his pain, I don't find it as simple. What if he pulls this kid from college and he never goes back? Do these issues straighten themselves out? I guess I don't think there is much hope of that, but I am hesitant to advise on so serious a matter.</p>

<p>"I asked her if the guys realize if they are up this amount of money, that someone(s) out of the same amount of money."</p>

<p>Quakers have a testimony against gambling, and just for that reason. It is not so much that one might lose (irresponsibly), but that winning is destructive of community. I must have played 10,000 bridge hands while in college, but never for even a penny.</p>

<p>Gambling is a very serious addiction. There are established treatment protocols (we work on some of them in my office!) But is it a long haul, there are often relapses, and you really have to (eventually) be committed to licking the problem. (Though studies show that folks who are initially dragged into treatment - or coerced through the legal system - do just as well as folks who go "voluntarily".)</p>

<p>Count me in with Driver and Carolyn.</p>

<p>Gambling addictions are prevalent everywhere now. Even among the group of about 15 guys at my high school I play with I would say that at least 5 have an unhealthy obsession with it, playing for hundreds and even thousands of dollars online with no income! I am sorry to say this, but sometimes it takes a huge hit for a person to stop.</p>

<p>gambling is the new cocaine. A little won't hurt but if you get wrapped up in it you are doomed.</p>

<p>Lisa Fillmore = Mom101, AnnieIvy. Do a search. See the topics. Business (MBA), Prep School, etc. Sound familiar??</p>

<p>Yes I'm mom and annie and anyone else you say. I just have never encountered anything like this. Have I offended here? Is going to Harvard Business School and having kids at prep schools unusual? By my guess, there are over 6000 Harvard B School students with college aged kids now, most of who have gone to prep school. Read recent article in Harvard Alumni Magazine. In my world it is familiar. What on earth am I missing? Why do people here not stay on topic. Think I'll go back to Princetin site, not as smart and interesting posters, but no bloody attacks!</p>

<p>I don't know what the personal stuff is about but can comment a bit on poker. My son is a stats kid. Always was. He discovered internet poker about a year after he graduated from college. He has made a mint from it. I mean he makes more than I do and I have quite a good salary. How does he do this? (1) He's very good at this game, and (2) there are thousands of really bad poker players losing money to smart kids like my son. Some of them may be addicted. Some are just too naive to realize that they aren't good at this game. They may blame the cards, or bad luck. But if they lose consistently there is only one explanation: the other players are better than they are. </p>

<p>I do think that colleges may need to open up gamblers anomymous or gambling counseling. And they have to either teach these kids to play or they have to demonstrate they can't win unless they are pretty good at this.</p>

<p>I guess I'm dense and clueless here, as well. Never did get the mom101 annie ivy connection. But I skip over most of the political threads--perhaps that was where there was a connection? I did find Mom101 a little weird though. Couldn't understand why someone who said she valued only those with an ivy league degrees (only hired graduates of ivy league she said) would post here, mingling where there are many of us lowly non-ivy types hanging out. Just odd.</p>

<p>There are so many issues that can snare a kid when he goes off to college or out in the world as he gets older and on a looser leash. I'm sure gambling is one of these things but in my experience not one of the top problems. The most common problem that occurs at college is the inability to organize time to get the work done, take care of oneself personally, and still enjoy life. This can lead to all kinds of problems from academic impulsion to terrible unhappiness. Another problem is in the mental health area. All kinds of mental and emotional disorders manifest themselves at this age and under the duress and stress of a new life. Then come the problems with drugs, sex, alcohol, smoking, that can tip one's balance. Eating disorders is another prevalent problem and I don't mean the freshman 15. Impulsive behavior and shenangins can cause problems. Social problems, money problems, and just plain old unhappiness. Roommates are a big source of problems. Political correctness, inability to open one's mind, inability to take a stand, all of these are problem that can cause a student to have to come home. And I am sure gambling is there too. But, the movie "Rollers" aside, I don't know think gambling is that big of problem statistically, no comfort for those faced with it. </p>

<p>All of these problems require a delicate balance in how and when one intervenes. Kids do learn from their mistakes, and sometimes that is the best way to go. But, on the other hand, they may be headed for big trouble unless there is intervention. Beyond a certain point, a parent must intervene but until the kid enters that area, there is no answer as whether intervention would make the situation worse. This has to be assessed individually, case by case. I would suggest counseling for the parent for guidance as to what the alternatives are at each point of the situation.</p>

<p>The thing I beat my self up about is that it was clear this kid should not have been sent off to college. I knew it in my gut at the time, but I just didn't have the conviction to press it. My own kids have had issues, but this was new to me. Therapists told his Dad he shoul feel lucky his kid was accepted and to let him go. I somehow knew that it wasn't likely that deep problems would dissapear on their own. But once you let them go, reeling them back is that much harder. At big, anonymous schools, kid can dissapear into the woodwork and not have problems recognized. Dad only found about about the sorry grades last year after the fact. He learned that this child was in such a state of depression that he didn't attend many classes. Yrt a well qualified therapist that we've known for some time gave a clean bill of health after seeing him extensively this summer. I just have a really bad feeling about this.</p>