NO POKIES MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
CALL ON FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO FUND BREAKTHROUGH DRUG FOR SEVERE GAMBLING ADDICTION
HEROIN ADDICTS GET GOVT HELP THAT’S DENIED TO THOSE HOOKED ON GAMBLING
Senior US Professor of Psychiatry – and addiction treatment expert – backs call.
· Severe problem gambler pleads for help in getting only form of treatment that works for
No Pokies MLC Nick
Xenophon has called on the State and Federal Governments to fund a widespread
clinical trial of Naltrexone – the drug used to treat heroin addicts – for
severe gambling addiction.
Mr Xenophon has received
powerful backing from Professor James
Westphal, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of
Substance Abuse and Addiction Medicine at
Research published since
2001 indicates that Naltrexone is effective in reducing the symptoms of
pathological (severe) gambling. It is administered orally. A current course
would typically cost $258 a month because it is not covered by the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. A person with an opiate dependency can get the
same course of Naltrexone for $23 a month because it is covered by the PBS.
‘John’, who has a
severe gambling addiction, has previously found that the only treatment that
works for him is Naltrexone, but he can no longer afford to buy it.
Mr Xenophon has called
on the State and Federal Governments to subsidise Naltrexone for gambling
addiction. The responses he has received from both Governments to his written
request have been “pathetically weak, patronising and non-committal”.
is an incredible irony here, in that if you’re breaking the law by taking
heroin you get a Government subsidy for Naltrexone to help beat the habit –
which is a good thing – but if you are hooked on gambling, sanctioned by the
States that rake in $10 million per
day in pokies
taxes, you are left out in the cold.”
evidence from here and overseas is frightening. In severe cases, a pokies
addiction is so bad, so addictive, it can only be cured by the same drug used to
treat heroin addiction.”
Westphal and ‘John’ will be available at the media conference.
Written and authorised by Nick Xenophon, 653 Lower North East Road, Paradise, SA 5075