Substance and behavioral addiction should be considered as a public health problem


European University of Lefke (EUL), Department of Psychology, Faculty Member Assist. Prof. Dr. Cemaliye Direktör made statements on “Substance and behavioural addiction”.

Direktör stated that “In our country and in the world, tobacco, alcohol and substance purchases increase rapidly and the age of starting to use decreases rapidly. The technology, which is developing rapidly day by day, adds different behavioural addictions to our lives, ”. For this reason, while only drug addiction was taken into account before, now behavioural addictions are described as problems.

Direktör: Addictions create important problems in the individual, family life and social structure

Direktör said “Behavioural addictions include technology addiction and gambling addiction. Addictions create important problems in the individual, family life and social structure; addiction harms individuals both psychologically and sociologically. The significant economic losses of addictions also affect society and the individual. ”

Direktör mentioned that, there are different criteria in determining that a person is addicted, these can be; developing tolerance to the substance used; requiring more use each time to show the first effect, deprivation when taking a break or abandoning, being in a serious effort to reach the substance, affecting work, family, friend relationships She stated that there is a desire to live, use for a longer time or in higher amounts, and continue to use it even though it is known to cause problems.

Direktör added that “Accordingly, we increase the risk of behavioural addiction with smart phones used by many of us. The first question we ask where we go is the Wi-Fi password. “Just looking at the Instagram and going out, looking at the stories for hours, feeling empty when the phone is running out of charge, or traveling with a power bank as it cannot be tolerated to run out of charge is an indication of this.”

Direktör: Technology addictions, of which psychological harm is accepted, is a very serious problem today.

“Technology addictions, of which psychological harm is now accepted, even if it is not considered as a drug, has become a serious problem nowadays,” said the Direktör and pointed out that gambling addiction, like technology addiction, is one of the prominent problems throughout the country.

Direktör, “The use of substance called drugs has been considered as one of the most important problems of the health system for years. The highest prevalence among substances that are varied every year is in cannabis use. In the latest report published by the European Union (2019), it was estimated that 24.7 million people used cannabis in the previous year. In the same report, 20% of users, especially between the ages of 15-24, reported using cannabis in 2018. ”

Direktör “Young people are always considered the biggest risk group. Despite this, primary school use has also increased significantly in recent years. Substance or behavioural addiction should be considered both as a public health problem. Awareness raising works are important but not enough to stay away from the substance or technology that is attractive. She pointed out that the institutions have important works, but that “fight against addiction” can be achieved in real terms as long as measures are taken regarding what to do in the short and long term in state policies.

Finally, the Direktör stated that the importance given to prevention programs as well as treatment and the need for multidisciplinary models in the struggle, as well as the support of the family and the school is very important, and universities should do more work and practice in their own psychological support units. “Unfortunately, young adults are more competent than other age groups to access the substance,” said the director. For this reason, it is important to combat addiction from a young age, but prevention activities in young people should be emphasized. ”

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