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Addiction 'not taken seriously enough' in Australia

17 October 2011 - 4:35pm

A new report has found that almost 80 per cent of Australians believe addiction to nicotine, alcohol or illicit drugs should be considered treatable medical conditions.

The research, commissioned by Pfizer Australia, found that while the majority of Australians know someone with an addiction, 67 per cent believe the treatment of addiction is not taken seriously enough.

Almost three-quarters of smokers stated they would change their approach to quitting if they knew nicotine addiction was a recognised medical condition.

Counselling and other support services, as well as medication, were believed to be the most effective form of intervention for addiction by those surveyed.

What Australians may not know is that some private health insurance policies options can cover the costs of such treatments, potentially increasing their chances of success.

Dr Raymond Seidler, a leading addiction specialist and general practitioner says that despite constant health warnings, it is alarming that Australians are not recognising the effect of addictive substances.

"Given the prevalence of addiction in Australia and its impact on the daily lives of friends and families, it is important that all Australians take action against these treatable medical conditions by seeking appropriate support," Dr Seidler said.