Exploring the relationship between stimulant use and gambling in college students

Abstract

Both gambling and stimulant use are common and can lead to problems on college campuses with consequences that impact the financial, emotional, academic and physical well-being of students. Yet few studies have been conducted to understand the co-occurrence of these conditions and the increased risk factors if any that may exist for gambling and related problems. The present study is among the first to document the co-occurrence of these behaviors in both a random sample of students (N = 4640), and then to explore to what extent stimulant use impacts subsequent gambling and related problems 12 months later in an at-risk sample (N = 199). Results revealed a three-fold higher rate of recent problem gambling for those who used stimulants versus those who had not (11 vs. 4 %). For those already gambling, stimulant use predicted an increased frequency in gambling 12 months later. Implications for prevention and screening are discussed.

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