What is addiction?

Addiction must be bisected as addictive personality and behavioral addiction. Addicted people are the ones who are addicted to an object, anyone or anything and think that they cannot live without them. Behavioral addiction is about a specific type of behavior or action which is done constantly and repeatedly. Addictive personality is a characteristic of addicted people who are depended to somebody else and think that they cannot live without them. Sometimes their dependence can reach to a certain point that it may harm the other person. These addicted people are the ones who think as ‘if I cannot have you, no one can’ because they consider the presence of a certain person so crucial that they cannot live without them, if they have to live without them, their lives would be meaningless. Whereas behavioral addiction has some essential features, one of these is repetition and developing a higher level of tolerance. Therefore, addicted continue to repeat the same behavior and develop tolerance for it. For instance, smoking addiction is a behavior which has constant desire for smoking and smoking more due to the idea that not being able to live without cigarette.

What are symptoms of addiction?

The constant desire for the same behavior is the most significant symptom of addiction. If we consider behavioral addiction, constant desire to smoke is a symptom of addiction. Addicted people expand their desire and develop their tolerance level. Therefore, they need to smoke more. They feel that they cannot be without it or live without it. They show sign of deprivation in the absence. Anxious, getting angry, getting ill-tempered, rapid breathing, sweaty hands are signs of deprivation of drug addiction or smoking addiction.

Is there a difference between being inveterate and being addicted?

When we consider addiction, we generally refer to a negative situation. However, being inveterate is regarded as more positively, less problematic on daily basis. For instance, theic or non-inhaling smoker are not considered as addiction but less problematic areas. However, when we think of signs of them, theic and non-inhaling smoker are not different at all. These two have the same pattern of behavior in which the person tends to repeat the same behavior, shows sign of deprivation and develops more tolerance after a while. As a result, we mention about the same topic.

Are addictive substances solely damage the person who use them?

Some youngsters think that using drugs is just harmful to them and others should not intervene their lives because they use drugs on their own free will. But addiction appears as a social problem in global. It is called a brain disease which increase violent actions by taking drugs. Addiction raises the crime rate by letting addicted to engage in risky situations, increasing risks and damaging the economies of countries. Economic costs increase with inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment because addiction is an illness which requires treatment. When addicted get involve with crime, this brings in the involvement of criminal justice system which increases the cost even more.

How can we keep our children away from drugs, alcohol and tobacco?

It can be possible by developing healthy life skills, supporting them, spending more time with them, having an idea about what is going in their lives and giving appropriate advises according to their ages in the light of their own lives.

What kind of family structure lay the ground for addiction?

First example of dependency is the dependent relation between mothers and their kids. Kids, whose mothers over care and develop more dependent relations, can improve dependency over time. This possibility can get lower if parents could create spaces in which kids can stand on their own feet. However, if family members rush for the needs of kid every time, they will develop dependency to this actions. First dependency will start with parents, next can be someone from opposite sex or some friends. Therefore, attitudes of parents are significant in terms of kids’ developing dependency. We have to teach our kids how to be independent and stand on their own feet. For this purpose, we need to restrain or control our over affection or dependent relation with our kids. It is necessary to let them to set up their own separate lives.

Do just problem children or weakling tend to become addicted?

It is not totally possible to detect the weaklings. The families with problems is a factor for children to be an addicted for sure. But, one basic thing that we know about addiction is that it is not about social role or class. One can be an addicted no matter if he/she is rich or poor or no matter whether he/she has graduated or not. By any chance, if one is not careful about the factors that push him/her to be an addicted, he/she is under threat of addiction no matter the profession and social role possessed or your class.

Which do parental attitudes lay the ground for dropping, drinking alcohol and smoking?

It is parents who do not set the boundaries, do not have any ideas about what their kids are doing and the ones who limit very strictly and put much pressure on their kids. In other words, both attitudes may push children toward addictions. Children need to understand the limits about what they are doing and for what purpose. However, these limits should be bended in some circumstances. In this respect, limits and rules must be able to bend but not violated. As very strict rules do not serve the purpose, very causal attitudes are also risk for addicted. There is a saying as such ‘Enough is as good as a feast’. As a matter of fact, keeping the balance of limits would eliminate at least the risk of addiction due to family matters. But chaotic situations in families, addicted parents always pose a risk of addiction to the kids.

What should parents do in order to keep their children away from addiction?

Parents should be good role models and act accordingly. Not being alcoholic is not sufficient, because kids already do not take alcoholic parents as role model. On the contrary, we know that children who raised by alcoholic parents, hate alcohol more. But, drinking alcohol within family because of various reasons, representation of alcohol as an appropriate product to consume, creation of drinking culture for the children may lead them to drink alcohol. It may turn to be an addiction in the future if there is a genetic susceptibility or in the case of drinking under too much pressure. On the other hand, the communication between parents and children is very significant. Those who do not have good communication with their parents such as being humiliated, being despised, not to get any credit for what you have done, being criticized, more tend to use drugs and drink alcohol. Opposite of that the ones, who are spoiled too much, not limited at all and who can spend as much as time outside they want, also tend to use drugs and drink alcohol.

Can prohibitions create a counter-effect regarding curiosity of people?

Sometimes, prohibitions can have counter-effect. The more there are prohibitions the more people would be curious about it. Therefore, some terms need to be matured for states to consider them for prohibitions. At this point, the important point is that if it is already forbidden and people are curious about it, this situation would cause even more curiosity about it. By doing that, states would trigger curiosity. That is the reason why, generally legal regulations come after behavioral changes. First people become inveterate and then legal regulations prohibit inveterateness. The point needs to be emphasized is that it should not be legal regulations which make people to retract but their own resistance. If people succeed to retract due to their own resistance, they may not be addicted. If one stops to take drugs because of legal regulation, he/she will develop addiction to another drug after a while.  The way to overcome addiction is to strengthen the internal resistance and to activate them. Therefore, legal regulations can be effective as much as they serve to activate the internal resistance of people.

How can parents figure out if their kids are addicted?

Parents can find out their children’s addiction in various ways. In some case, they may find cigarettes in children’s room or they can figure out from the smell of cigarette. In some cases, they can figure out if children are drunk. This is first shock for the parents and the first reaction of children is denial.

Is it possible to treat addiction?

Addiction regarding addicted is hard to treat but not impossible. If we regard addiction as behavioral tendencies, it can be treated for sure. In our point of view, people can change the way they act, even if people have behavioral addictions and addictive personalities. They can change for better. If a person has addiction, he/she needs to overcome the addiction, strive to overcome and not lose his/her hope. In other words, addiction is not fate. So, if people want to overcome or can endure it, they can overcome addiction. The affection for an object or for a person at the beginning can be transformed into a healthy relation later times. This can be done with difficulty. Compare to addicted who needs psychological consulting or psychotherapy, dealing with addictive behaviors is more easy. In some cases, some ailments, which needs to be treated, may emerge.

Must the treatment of addiction be done on the condition of willingness of addicted?

In the treatment, the willingness and motivation of addicted is important for sure however, the attitude of close circle is also important for creation of consent and motivation. Frequently made mistake: family and close friends cover up his/her problems caused by addiction, compensate for his/her problems and pick up after him/her. Later, they tell addicted ‘not to drink or use’ it. In this situation, just addicted has fun not the ones surround him/her. Under such case addicted does not want to quit. Therefore, one should let the addicted face all negative consequences by himself/herself directly. For instance, a drunk can pass out at the outside of the house, vomit anyplace and carried by his/her family or friends and still may not remember any of this in the morning. After all these advising addicted to stop using drug would not be effective. Instead people surrounding addicted should warn him/her without hurting his/her feelings and tell him/her that they would not continue to cover up all negative consequences of addiction for him/her in the future, if families and friends succeed to stand firm, they can motivate addicted for a change.

Which one is more effective outpatient treatment or inpatient treatment in treatment of addiction?

The treatment of addicted does not have to be an inpatient addiction. The decision about which treatment should be applied, is made after consideration of stage of addiction, social support of addicted, whether addicted has psychological and psychiatric problems or not. Priority is given to the outpatient treatment. However, inpatient treatment is considered if addicted takes drugs intensively, takes drugs non-stop and there is any other medical illness or psychiatric problems.

How to protect the addicted from relapse after the treatment?

In order to prevent relapse after a treatment period, the addicted needs to stay away from the situations, environment, which would trigger his/her desire for drugs and people who would make him/her to take drug again. The addicted does not always think about using drugs, but there are certain things that stimulate the desire of addicted. From then on the addicted who has not been thinking about taking drugs, starts to think otherwise. Excuses such as ‘it is just onetime thing’, ‘I was not addicted in the first place’ and ‘I proved myself that I am not addicted because I have not been taking drugs for months so I will take one and quit’ start to be made by addicted. Unfortunately, once they start to take again, they are addicted again. For this reason, prevention of the relapsing of drugs is very significant. Therefore, the addicted needs to stay away from environment which can trigger taking drugs. The addicted may claim that he/she is no longer taking drugs but when he/she hangs out with friends who are taking, he/she can restrain himself/herself for a while but eventually it will end by taking drugs.

What should I do if my friend is addicted?

We should get panic in such a situation. First, we need to understand what we should not to do. We should not normalize the situation for sure and we need to no realize that there are problems coming from the personal life of addicted and his/her family. Exclusion or a total inclusion both do not help us about the solution. We should guide the addicted to consult an expert if possible. If we know your friends’ family, we need to let his/her family learn about addiction. If you have concerns about the relationship between you and your friend may end, then you need to persuade your friend for a professional consultant subconsciously. Consultant can be a psychologist, psychiatrist or more professional such as AMATEM and ÇAMATEM. Other than this if there are problems in the family, a family therapy should be considered. We should support our friends when the problems might be solved through our relation. But I want to emphasize that if we have doubts about our support in this process and if we influenced from our addicted friend, we should not try to be a hero for him/her. Because addicted people are popular and influential and that’s apply to your friendship also. This may lead to us being affected from addicted or even being addicted while trying to help him/her. We heard about this in during our interviews. Some said that they started to take drugs when they were trying to help their friends or they started to take drugs when they hanged out with his/her friends of the addicted. That is the reason why I think collaboration with a professional consultant on the matters of decisions about quitting and how to continue life is a must.

Do young people forced to drink alcohol or take drugs?

Youngsters are not never being forced to take drugs or drink alcohol. Within the relation between youngsters the one who do not drink alcohol or take drugs are excluded or forced to use after a while if the rest take drugs or drink alcohol. We already know that youngsters want to be popular and shine out with their differences which is a commonality during puberty. Youngsters who do not use drugs would start to use in time while they are hanging out with addicted friends in order not to harm their relations with the group. We need to realize that this is a great risk from which we need to keep youngsters and our kids away from it. Alongside with this we need to provide alternatives opportunities to them for socialization.

Is there a difference between men and women regarding substance abuse? If so why?

There are certain differences between men and women in terms of using drugs, how they started to use drugs and the process of quitting. While teenage boys quickly become addicted, this process is very slow for teenage girls. Therefore, it is more common for men to have impact on social relation when we consider addiction as a sub culture and continuation of this culture. Whereas, women have less opportunity to develop a sub culture and to continue it. However, we see that alcohol industry has been targeted women in their ads for 7-8 years. So, the number of women in the researches will change in the future.

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