Gambling Twice as Harmful as Drugs According to New Study

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AUT Professor Max Abbott claims that the dangers associated with gambling are nearly double that of drug abuse. 

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His research found that the quality of life for a low-risk gambler can drop by as much as 20 percent.  The risks associated with gambling addiction include declining health, financial distress, psychological disorders, conflict relations with others, harm to others and criminal activity.

The study, conducted in New Zealand, is the first of its kind in that nation.

"[It] enables us to make comparisons with other health conditions and the results are actually staggering.

"This is a challenge, and I think it's a credit to the New Zealand Government actually that there is recognition of the harm and measures to address it."

Abbott makes a distinction between the levels of gambling.

"Problem gamblers can experience debilitating consequences on their quality of life, whereas people at low-risk levels might experience manageable but persistent effects that can get in the way of enjoying life.

"While serious problem gamblers and people close to them experience the greatest harm, the study shows that many other people are harmed by gambling. In fact, low-risk gamblers are associated with the greatest proportion of New Zealand's gambling-related harm."

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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