In recent months, quite a number of unfortunate stories related to drug addiction (especially Bonsai addiction) are being discussed in our country. More young people are forced to leave their schools and quit their jobs due to this drug abuse. They are being excluded from social life and after a period of time, they undergo into a physical process of no return. Because of drug addiction, individuals become lost, social fabric shatters and chronic problems emerge. Thus, it constitutes an obstacle to the development of the country and the region in the short, medium and long term. Drug abuse has recently become very popular for several reasons. According to TUBİM (Drug Addiction Monitoring Centre) reports;
- Since 1995, the rate of drug usage is increasing constantly.
- The rate of lifelong marijuana use was 4% in 2013. This ratio may be low compared to EU countries but it corresponds to a significant number considering the size of our population.
- Findings indicate that 3 out of every 5 people who use marijuana also use other drugs.
As the number of children living on the streets grows and drug sale channels enters right into the schools, it is predicted that this figure will increase further in the coming years
On the basis of information provided by the TUİK research, Prof. Dr. Erol Kahveci from İzmir University of Economics Department of Sociology reports that 10,504 children were processed by law enforcement units due to drug or psychotropic drug abuse and selling (by force or willingly) these drugs. This means an increase of %11.6 compared to 2012.
Looking at the rate of those who suffered from substance abuse and drug use in our country, data provided by the Narcotics Bureau shows that Bursa follows İstanbul. Especially in the last few months, Bonsai and substance-related deaths among young people in Bursa are on the rise. According to AMATEM and Provincial Health Directorate, in the first 6 months of 2014, drug addiction and Bonsai use increased and the age of first use dropped to 10-11. In this respect, Bursa is the most troubled city.
As KIO, a structure that tries to better the well-being of young people and contribute to social development, we decided to address this problem. For this purpose, with the participation of our partners from districts where substance abuse is widespread we held our local summit meeting in Bursa with 76 participants at 7-9 of August.
- Raise awareness among young people about substance abuse, to inform about the risks brought about by the use of these substances
- To promote healthy lifestyles among young people and enhancing their participation in social life, support them become a productive generation
- Bringing young people and decision-makers together, enabling them to be able to work together for common goals
- Bringing public agencies who work in this field, civil society organizations and individuals together and learn about the best practices and improve collaboration infrastructure
By enabling young people to work on the policies that interest them, ensure that they can influence the decision-making process through views related to the issue and concrete results, and in doing so develop new approaches
- Ministry of Youth and Sports, Education, Culture and Research General Manager Harun SÖNMEZ, informed the participant young people about their “Umutlar Sönmesin” program and answered questions. The ministry is one of the partners of the program that aims to combat substance abuse.
- TUBIM Bursa Provincial Representative Hasan UYAR, talked about substance abuse, addiction and the studies carried out in Bursa and other parts of the country and answered questions.
Turkey Green Crescent Society, Educational Unit Manager Derya AKYILMAZ and R&D Projects Unit Programme Manager Gökhan DİNÇ talked about the drug abuse projects carried out by Green Crescent and their ongoing projects. They also introduced the YEDAM – Green Crescent Training and Consulting Center that aims to prevent addiction and provide rehabilitation.