Where do I get advice on how to quit smoking?

There are many organisations and agencies that can help you quit smoking or give you advice on how to quit.
Quitline NZ is a good starting point. You can call their free helpline (0800 778 778). They can provide low-cost nicotine patches and gum, as well as support online, by phone or by text.

You can also order a free copy of The Quit Book, which will guide you through the process of giving up smoking. Your local pharmacist can advise you about nicotine replacement therapy (i.e. nicotine patches, gum, lozenges etc), or you can ask your doctor about prescription drugs which help by reducing your nicotine craving.

Aukati KaiPaipa provides face-to-face help to Maori who want to give up smoking. The programme is free and is tailored to your needs by a professional quit coach.

Help for smokers in the Pasifika community is available from Tala Pasifika. They have coaches in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

Many other community health organisations offer free or subsidised smoking cessation programmes – your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help you find one near you.

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Where can I get help for alcohol and drug addiction?

If you need to speak to someone about an alcohol or drug addiction that you, or someone you know has, you can contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, text "adh" to 234, or visit their website.

They also have special helplines for:

  • Maori - 0800 787 798
  • Pasifika - 0800 787 799
  • Youth - 0800 787 984

The helpline is available from 10am to 10pm every day. Run by the Alcohol Drug Association of New Zealand (ADANZ), you can get information and support from trained counsellors.

There are many organisations and individuals who provide help with an alcohol or drug problem, from support groups through to residential programmes. You can check ADANZ's directory of treatment options or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for help in finding a provider near you.

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I like to drink but do I have a drinking problem?

If you suspect you might have a problem with alcohol but aren’t sure whether you need to worry about it, you can probably get a good idea about it by answering a few simple questions on the Like a drink? website.

You can find out more about how excess alcohol can affect your health and your relationships by visiting the Health Prevention Agency’s Alcohol website.
Both sites have information about where you can get help if you decide that you have a problem and want to do something about it.

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Who can help me with my gambling problem?

Gambling Helpline New Zealand provides a 24 hour, freephone helpline for people who are concerned about their own or someone else’s gambling. You can call the helpline for counselling, advice, or a referral to another gambling support organisation. You can call them on 0800 654 655 or text them on 8006.

They also have specialist services for:

  • Maori - 0800 654 656
  • Pasifika - 0800 654 657
  • People with gambling debt problems - 0800 654 658
  • Youth - 0800 654 659

The Problem Gambling Foundation has a specialist Asian Family Hotline (0800 862 342) as well as a general helpline for information, advice and referral (0800 664 262).

The Salvation Army provides free consultation and interventions for gamblers and people affected by problem gambling. Their service is provided through centres around New Zealand; to find out more call 0800 530 000.

There are a number of other organisations which can help people overcome their addiction to gambling – some are free and others are not. You can look for one on the Ministry of Health’s online directory or contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for help with finding a service near you.

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What can I do to help a friend with an addiction problem?

If you are worried that a friend or family member has an addiction problem (e.g. alcohol, drugs, tobacco, gambling), you can try talking to them calmly about how it is affecting the people around them.

While you can’t fix the problem for them you can offer your support and encouragement when they choose to quit. For example, if you are supporting someone trying to quit smoking, you can think of ways to socialise where other people won’t be smoking.

For advice on how to help someone with a drugs, alcohol or gambling problem, see the organisations mentioned in the questions above. Some of them run support groups for families of people with addiction problems. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can help you find one nearby.