THE SOCIAL “SIDE” OF
ADOLESCENT DRUG
ADDICTION
GONCA POLAT ULUOCAK
BAŞKENT UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL
WORK
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What comes to mind when you see or hear
the word "drug"?
WHAT IS ADDICTION?

Drug addiction involves compulsively
seeking to use a substance, regardless of
the potentially negative social, psychological
and physical consequences.
DSM DIAGNOSIS
(Substance Dependence)
Three (or more) of the following, occurring any time in the same 12month period:
 1. Tolerance
 2. Withdrawal
 3. Larger amounts of substance taken
 4. Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control
substance use.
 5. Time spent in activities to obtain the substance, use the
substance, or recover from its effects.
 6. Reduced social, occupational, recreational activities
 7. Continuation of substance use despite harmful effects
The Types of Drugs
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What are examples of drugs used in your
area?
The Types of Drugs
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Alcohol
Cigarette (Nicotine)
Opiats (heroin, morphine, codein)
Hallucinogens (LSD)
Stimulants (Methamphetamine, Amphetamine,
cocain, ecstacy
Cannibis
Hypnosedatives (Benzodiazepines)
Inhalants (Bally, Thinner)
ADOLESCENT DRUG USE
WHO: Adolescence is a period between the
ages 10-19
Adolescence is a stage of searching;
Searching for identity..
Searching for joy ...
Searching for excitement…
Searching for difference…
Searching for independence……
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ADOLESCENT-ADULT DRUG
USE
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STAGES (PROCESS)
EFFECTS
SOCIAL FACTORS
CAUSES OF ADDICTION
1.
2.
3.
4.
Adolescent development (biological and
psychological)
Mental illness
Environmental chaos
Widespread availability of drugs
CHARACTERISTICS OF ADU
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Curiosity
Family and friends are important factors
for either risk or protection
Many of them use polydrugs; different
drugs together
Many of them give up, with the support of
their families, usually before adulthood.
MYTHS ABOUT DU/DA
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Drug addiction occurs as a result of free will.
You choose to become addicted.
Drug addiction happens in people who have
a ‘weak’ character or lack self-discipline
Marijuana is not addicting
People who carry on taking drugs after
treatment are a waste of time and will never
beat their addiction
TRADITIONAL-ALTERNATIVE
FRAMEWORKS
Health
(Physiological)
PROBLEM
DRUG USE
Psychological
Legal
(Crime)
Social
Health
Legal
Psychological
Social Dimension

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The social risk and protective factors of
addiction;
The social rehabilitation dimension of the
treatment
The social reintegration process after
treatment.
Social Reintegration

EMCDDA: Any integrative efforts for drug
users in the community

Education (which includes training),
Housing
Employment
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Recovery will occur only if;
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Abstinence has more to offer than addiction
Find a purpose in their drug-free lives
Meaningful roles and activities that offer them
self-respect and pride
New daily routines that do not involve criminal
activities
Access to a decent income, adequate housing,
employment opportunities; family relationships
and being connected to community networks.
Social Exclusion

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Exclusion of a person-or a group- from
normal activities and decision making
processes of the society
Not integrated with the society’s economic,
social, law and cultural sub-systems
According to a research in
Turkey (Ogel,2005)
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<non-users>
Unemplyed
Poor
Have problem in
social relations
Steals
Can easily lie
Agressive
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<users>
Lack of capacity to
struggle with
problems
Shy and fearful
Lack of self
confidence
Sensitive and kind
Weak and ill
Results of Stigma&Exclusion
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¼ of drug users are not employed or promoted. Even they are
ex-users, most of them are not having the job if they tell their
story.
They are obliged to work without insurance in some cases
Young people using drugs are not able to take grants or benefit
the educational programs. In USA some states restrict their
social assistance to the young drug users. (Even the intention
behind is to decrease drug use, it stil is a disciriminatory
practice).
An important amount of drug users are not able to receive
treatment because of not having insurance or can not afford the
costs.
1/10 drug users are feeling ashamed to be under drug treatment
Attitudes
Drug user adolescents are;
 Patient for the doctor,
 Insane for the psychiatrists,
 Sinful, for the religious people,
 “Bad Child” of the family
 Problem student for the teacher
 Problem for the whole society
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Attitudes of Health Care Workers
face stigma and discrimination
controllable stigma’
More contact brings more understanding….
Activity
Thank you for your attention
and contribution
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THE SOCIAL “SIDE” OF ADOLESCENT DRUG ADDICTION