NZ study shows that compulsive gamblers are more likely to withdraw from their families

Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology

People who suffer from compulsive gambling issues are more likely to self-isolate and withdraw from social networks, according to a report by Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

The research was conducted by the Associate professor at Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, Maria Bellringer, and funded by the Ministry of Health of New Zealand.

According to Mrs Bellringer, if someone is a regular participant in social community activities, and suddenly withdraws for no obvious reason, she believes, this may indicate that these people might be hiding gambling issues from others. The study also shows that population of Māori and Pasifika descent (the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand) are more predisposed to be harmed by gambling.

The study draws attention to the connection between irresponsible gambling and health problems. The examinees were more likely to be long-term smokers, and they were more likely to maintain a poor quality of life. Problem gamblers are more likely to face adverse incidents such as losing their job or their well being declining.

However, it works both ways, as those who quit problem gambling would have better health. They were therefore more likely to quit drinking alcohol in a risky or excessive way, and thus to improve their quality of life. According to The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), problem gamblers account for 0.3% of the population in New Zealand, while moderate-risk gamblers account for 1%, and it is estimated that one in every 40 New Zealanders is adversely impacted by other people's gambling.

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