The hard truth about gambling

NZ Herald
The hard truth about gambling
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ANALYSIS: Gambling can be an addiction.

An addiction is defined as a chronic relapsing disorder characterised by the compulsive use of something despite adverse consequences.

It’s considered a brain disorder because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control. What starts off as a little fun or a little hobby can drastically turn into something quite devastating and harmful, and it is breaking down whānau in our communities.

In Hawke’s Bay alone, around $12.5m was generated over the past 3 months from slot machines or better known as pokey machines. These games of chance have enticed too many of our whānau into a trap. Statistics show that these pokey machines are mainly situated in areas where our Māori and Pacific whānau live.

Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust - Hawke’s Bay Gambling Services is an organisation that can help. Funded by the Ministry of Health, they provide free counselling and health promotion services to all communities within the wider Hawke’s Bay including Wairoa, Napier, Hastings, and Central Hawke’s Bay. Their aim is to prevent and minimise gambling harm.

The team at Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust have put together a mini doco called Breaking of a New Dawn – Understanding Gambling Harm in Hawke’s Bay. This documentary is a valuable opportunity to help to give the community a brief insight into understanding gambling harm here in Hawke’s Bay.

This is a free viewing that will take place at the Focal Point Cinema in Hastings, at 10am on Monday, March 6.

Eventually, this opportunity will be available in Wairoa, Napier and Central Hawke’s Bay. There are limited spaces, so it’s important that you register your interest by contacting Ricky at Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust - [email protected]

Help is available to anyone who may be experiencing Gambling Addiction whether you need help for yourself or a loved one. Te Rangihaeata Oranga – Gambling Recovery Service Hawke’s Bay has support staff there to help you.

All clinicians at Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust/Hawke’s Bay Gambling Services are highly qualified health professionals with specialities in gambling. or simply call their head office in Hastings to talk on the phone and/or book a time to go in for a chat or they will come to you. Everything is free and confidential. Their head office is in Hastings is 210 Lyndon Road West, opposite the St Matthews Anglican Church., email [email protected]

How do you know if you have a problem with gambling?

· Do you spend a lot of time and money gambling?

· Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?

· Have you ever lied about how much you gambled?

· Have you faced financial difficulty because of gambling?

· Do you withdraw from your family because of gambling?

· Do you feel incapable of stopping?

· Do you neglect your relationships to gamble?

· Have you taken out a loan to gamble?

If you answered yes to one or more or all of these questions, you may have a problem. The good news is that there is always help available for you or for someone you know.

Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust provides free advice, support and counselling to anyone in the community who may be worried about someone else’s gambling. It could be your partner, children, an employee, or close friend. Don’t be afraid to learn more by asking.

The hard truth about gambling is that it is an addiction that is harming individuals, families and communities. The great news is that there is a way out and you can live your life by Choice not Chance.

RuthWong is Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Inc communications officer

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