Gambling may be fun and exciting, but it can also be addicting and lead to serious financial problems.  If you think you will get rich quickly by gambling, you soon will discover you have a better chance of being struck by lightning.

To help the community and students learn about problem gambling, Montgomery County Community College’s Student Support and Referral Team (SSRT) and the Montgomery County Department of Drug and Alcohol in collaboration with The Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA are presenting “Problem Gambling and the College Population” on Thursday, May 10, 2012 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Room 101 of the Advanced Technology Center, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

Through videoconferencing, the program also will be shown in Room 213, South Hall, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.  The event is free and open to the public and geared for college faculty, administrators, counselors, students and drug and alcohol professional counselors.  Anyone having an interest in the topic is also invited to attend.

The program features guest speaker Joanna Franklin, MS, NCGC II, who is the Director of Training and Network Development for Trimeridian Inc. Resources for Problem Gambling.  She will discuss the dangers of problem gambling and help the audience recognize the signs and symptoms of a compulsive gambler and learn how to get appropriate help.

Gambling, particularly online gambling, is becoming an increasing trend with college students.  Recent research indicates the 75 percent of all college students in the United States gambled during the past year, and six percent of those students have a serious gambling problem.  The most frequently chosen gambling activity is the lottery, followed by card games and sports betting.

According to www.collegegambling.org, students with gambling problems are more likely to use tobacco, drink heavily or binge drink, use illegal drugs, drive under the influence and have a lower GPA.

To register for the workshop, contact Eileen Lafferty at elaffert@montcopa.org or 610-278-3538.  While registration is suggested, walk-ins that day will be welcome.

(This post was written by Diane VanDyke)

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