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Health researchers at the University of Otago's Wellington campus have developed a free online educational resource covering addiction issues.
It also aims to help people learn directly from those who have experienced addiction.
The website shows a series of video clips from interviews with seven New Zealanders who have had alcohol and other drug problems, but now live full, happy and productive lives.
''Demystifying Addiction through Personal Stories: An Online Educational Resource'' was mainly intended to help medical students and health professionals ''understand the psychological, social and cultural drivers of addiction,'' researcher Rachel Tester said. Health professionals would then feel better equipped to help those in need. The researchers hoped the resource would destigmatise addiction and be useful for ''understanding recovery from addiction''.
The resource was developed by Ms Tester, Dr Helen Moriarty and Dr Maria Stubbe. The seven people interviewed for the pilot study talked about what motivated them to change their behaviour, and what had helped or hindered them.