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Lockdown sparks addiction surge in Australia

Dee Dee Dunleavy
Article image for Lockdown sparks addiction surge in Australia

Over one million Australians have an addiction, with fears that number has soared during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Professor at Monash University and Executive clinical director at Turning Point Rehabilitation Centre, Professor Dan Lubman, told Dee Dee Dunleavy Australia needed to pay more attention to addictions.

“We’ve seen significant changes in behavior in the last year due to coronavirus,” he said.

“A lot of people have reported an increase of drinking, a shift to gambling, an increase of uncertainty and stress.

“Addiction is a health disorder that is treatable, it’s a solution to former underlying problems normally associated with trauma, mental health and isolation.

“People use it as a way to cope.”

Professor Lubman explained how Australians needed more support in treating addictions.

“We need to treat addiction like we do every other health disorder,” he said.

“We need to have really good quality health services that we would expect for any other health condition.

“At the moment it’s a lottery system.”

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Dee Dee Dunleavy
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