The Multi-Faceted Struggle Against Addiction

Mücahit Öztürk
Prof. Dr., President of the Green Crescent

Addiction continues to be a major social problem around the world. According to research, the number of addicted people has been gradually increasing over the years and loss of life due to addiction continues to increase.

With our 100 years of experience and know-how as the Green Crescent, we are struggling versatilely with the problem of addiction that threatens humanity and our future and producing permanent solutions to this problem.

Green Crescent President represents the Green Crescent on the High Council of Fight Against Addiction, which convenes under the chairmanship of Vice President Fuat Oktay and is represented at the ministerial level by the 12 relevant ministries. The Green Crescent is involved in the Committee Against Addiction, the Technical Board, and Provincial Boards Struggling with Addiction within the scope of action plans struggling with addiction and contributes actively in stakeholder institution study groups, national workshops, and regional assessment meetings.

Launched in 2015 to provide free outpatient support services for addicts and their relatives, Green Crescent Consultancy Centers provide general services in 66 centers in 53 provinces including Cyprus as of 2020.

The Addiction Prevention Training Program of Turkey (TBM) is an educational model program aimed at raising awareness in the general public with regard to tobacco, alcohol, substance, and technology addiction, in children and youths in particular, and by preventing these types of addiction by informing this target group about healthy principles of living. 10 million students and 3 million adults have been reached every year through 32,872 counselors in this program that the Ministry of National Education implemented.

As part of the School Addiction Intervention Program (OBM), we’ve implemented school-based short intervention programs on tobacco, alcohol, and substance use among adolescents. In the pilot training, counselors are taught how to determine students’ condition, how teachers can recognize substance use, how youths can be persuaded to get treatment, informing and supporting the family about the situation, determining family relations, and how students can avoid risky situations with family support. Positive studies continue to be carried out with many students in the project, which was enacted by the Ministry of National Education.

Financial support programs have been arranged with the aim of increasing the capacity to combat addiction in Turkey and the World and to support local projects. Six support programs have been implemented within the scope of national financial support programs. 713 applications have been received from non-governmental organizations and universities within the scope of the program. Fund support totaling 2,030,643 TL has been provided by implementing 51 projects in the field.

In the first period of the COVID-19 pandemic, a free psychological support line was established to support citizens in need of psychological support in the name of social solidarity. Telephone support has been provided to a total of 2,286 people and online therapy services to 73 people through the project. 22 people who called the line with suicidal tendencies were supported for being able to cope with their situation.

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