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Horizon Behavioral Health shares importance of 'gifting responsibly' this holiday season

FILE - Horizon Behavioral Health (WSET)
FILE - Horizon Behavioral Health (WSET)
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Horizon Behavioral Health shares the importance of "gifting responsibly" during this holiday season.

According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, adolescents experience serious problems related to gambling at a higher rate than adults, Horizon Behavioral Health said.

Studies show that children and teenagers are more likely to develop a gambling addiction later in life if they gamble at a young age, Horizon Behavioral Health also said.

To help prevent problem gambling behaviors before they start, Horizon Behavioral Health is sharing messages with the community, reminding adults of the importance of "responsible gifting", especially during the holiday season.

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Horizon Behavioral Health said the goal of this messaging campaign is to remind the community that lottery tickets are not toys, and while lottery tickets may seem like a good gift idea for loved ones, it’s a crime to give lottery tickets as gifts to children under the age of 18.

Horizon said they encourage adults to “Spread cheer by looking for creative alternatives like giving books or puzzles to foster creativity and knowledge; board games that encourage family bonding; or gift cards to places like movie theaters, amusement parks, or local restaurants where they can enjoy a safe outing with you. There are plenty of ways you can show your love while keeping everyone safe and happy!”

According to Horizon Behavioral Health adults and parents can take proactive steps to prevent young people in their life from developing a gambling problem, such as:

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  • Not allowing children to “pick out” a ticket that you then buy or letting them select numbers for a draw game
  • Not encouraging a child to help you scratch a ticket
  • Talking to children about the gambling and how odds work, and the risk of addiction
  • Knowing the warning signs of gambling addiction
  • Teaching children about budgeting and money management
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