“Evaluation Council on Fight against Addiction Workshops” started in Ankara


Health Minister Dr. Fahrettin Koca delivered a speech at the “Evaluation Council on Fight against Addiction Workshops” which took place in Ankara in the presence of the Vice President H.E. Fuat Oktay.

In his speech, Vice President stated that one of the bleeding wounds of social life is young people who are lost in the grip of harmful habits and addictions. He underlined importance of the involvement of all stakeholders in this fight, particularly Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health and Ministry of National Education and all relevant institutions.

Reminding that the High Council for Combating Drugs was established in 2014 under the leadership of President H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Vice President continued as follows:

“Today, we endeavor to combat addiction under the coordination of the High Council on Combating Addiction, of which 12 of our ministers are members. At the meeting of the High Council, we decided to determine the addiction risk criteria of each of our provinces through field studies. In this framework, provincial evaluation meetings were held in 10 rounds by the Ministry of Health. Our esteemed ministers also expressed that workshops were held in 67 provinces under the chairmanship of our governors and in 771 districts under the chairmanship of our district governors.”

Minister Dr. Koca, on the other hand, emphasized that the addiction process can vary depending on physical characteristics of the person, chemical structure of the substance used, and the frequency of use, etc., but addiction is inevitable if the use of such substances is continued.

Pointing out that digitalization can create new problems along with its positive aspects, Dr. Koca said, "'Game addiction' has also been added as a disease to the ICD classification created by WHO and used by physicians in the diagnosis grouping of diseases.”

"When we examine the records of patients treated for alcohol and drug addiction in our addiction treatment centers, we see that almost all drug users start using alcohol after smoking and then use other drugs," said Dr. Koca. "We have to continue our efforts to combat tobacco, which is the first and most important step, with utmost precision and determination," he said.

Reminding that citizens are supported by psychologists and social workers via ALO 191 Anti-Drug Counseling and Support Line, and through Family Health Centers, Healthy Life Centers, and Addiction Counseling Centers; face-to-face counseling, referral to treatment, and post-treatment follow-up studies are carried out for addicted individuals and their relatives. He noted that with the opening of 75 treatment centers where outpatient treatment programs have been implemented since 2014, the waiting times for appointments have decreased and it has become easier for those who need inpatient treatment to access the service.

"Before the release of the 2015 Urgent Action Plan, services were provided in 30 treatment centers with a bed capacity of 712, but as of today, we have increased the number of treatment centers to 136 with an increase of 312 percent, and the bed capacity to 1388 with an increase of 94 percent," Dr. Koca said.

Concerning the organization of the Workshops, Koca said, “We will shape our strategies for combating addiction for the future by receiving feedback directly from the field, putting them on scientific foundations and comparing them with world practices.”

Updated: 20/10/2022