6 Nov 2008

Resources to treat addiction half what's needed - report

9:52 pm on 6 November 2008

A new report says resources to deal with addiction will need to be doubled within the next three years to avert huge health and social costs.

A report from the National Committee for Addiction Treatment says resources to deal with addictions will need to be doubled within the next three years to avert huge social costs.

The committee says treating addiction is cheaper than leaving it to take its toll on society.

The Associate Minister of Health, Jim Anderton says current spending on addiction services is almost $100 million.

He says more than $3 million is lost to gaming machines every day, and spending more on addiction treatment would be a good investment in society.

More than three-quarters of problem gamblers cite gaming machines as the number one cause of their addiction.

The report cites non-casino pokie machines as the number one cause of problem gambling, and Mr Anderton says he would support a ban on the machines.