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The Agony Of Addiction This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   According to Webster's Dictionary, the word "addiction" means the quality or state of being addicted. The problem with this definition is that it does not state that addiction is a mental illness, not something to be ignored. Society also overlooks the fact that addiction is, for the most part, an inherited trait and only when it is recognized as such will we be able to help with the recovery process.

I am not referring to drug or alcohol addiction, (although these are also very prevalent), I am talking about an illness rarely thought of as an addiction: Gambling. Many people, young and old, have problems with compulsive gambling and may not even know it.

Today's society does not consider it a real problem, yet everywhere you look there are signs of it. Whether you are sitting in a restaurant watching the Keno screens or walking into your local convenience store, buying a one-dollar scratch ticket, you are engaging in an activity that many people are addicted to. Why shouldn't we have a floating casino? It is bad enough to have one on land, but the government says that it is good for the economy. While the states are bringing in money, they are turning out thousands of compulsive gamblers who are capable of losing their life savings with the roll of a die. Unfortunately only about ten percent of those who have problems with gambling will seek help through Gamblers Anonymous. The others may spend their lives trying to make up for one bad day at the tables.

I am not saying that if you buy a scratch ticket or bet on a football game you are doomed to become a compulsive gambler, but we need to pay more attention to those who have problems. Gambling is like any other addiction and if we, as a society, do not recognize it as a problem, how long will it take until we open our eyes and stop contributing to it? ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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