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Gambling related community harm exceeds that of drug use

Study finds gambling related community harm exceeds that of drug use disorders and common physical health problems

New research conducted for the New Zealand Ministry of Health by Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and Central Queensland University (CQU) found harm associated with gambling is almost double that of drug use disorders, bipolar affective disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia combined.

The study is the first in New Zealand, and only the second in the world, to measure the aggregate ‘burden of harm’ attributed to gambling, and uses a standard public health methodology endorsed by the World Health Organisation to compare gambling to other well-researched health issues.

The findings showed that overall at a community level, gambling is associated with almost 3 times more harm than drug use disorders, 2.5 times more than diabetes and 2.1 times more than osteoarthritis. It falls only a little short of harm arising from anxiety and depression, and hazardous alcohol drinking.

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