Parents: When it Comes to Gambling, Alcohol & Other Drugs, You Can Help them Stay on Track!

Many parents aren’t aware that youth gambling is often connected with alcohol use, marijuana use, and other drug use.

  • More than half of Oregon teens have gambled. They prefer games like betting on sports teams, skill games and cards.
  • Teens who gamble are more likely to use alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. 
  • Over half of youth surveyed believe that gambling can become a problem for young people.
  • More than 9 in 10 teens believe that gambling problems can be prevented through education and awareness.

Talk with Them!

Talking with your kids about gambling, just as you would with alcohol or other drugs, helps build trust and keep them safe.

How to talk?

  • Share about brain development. Our brains aren’t full developed until 25 years old! The prefrontal cortex part of the brain is responsible for decision making and impulse control. And this is the last part of the brain to develop! Learn more about the teen brain from the National Institutes of Mental Health.
  • Help them understand that risky behaviors can go together.
  • Be curious about their behavior. Are they into loot boxes? Are they playing certain apps more? Are you noticing more money issues? Be aware of the signs of a possible problem.
  • Share that they can stay healthy by knowing the risks. Be honest, while not overdramatic, about risks.

You can do this! Need more help on how to talk with them? Visit from our friends at the New York Council on Problem Gambling for help on how to have the conversation!

Help is free and confidential for anyone concerned about a gambling problem in Oregon by calling the 24-hour helpline, 1-877-MY-LIMIT, or visiting

Want to participate with us? Check out the ideas below and feel free to use as you like! 

Teen Brain Development

Brain Connections: Gambling as an Addiction

Other Resources