NUMBER OF ADDICTED CHILDREN IS INCREASING!
It has been emphasized that children, with the new school year ahead, have been target group on issues such as juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and some 273 thousand 571 children reached out to the security units in 2013. The experts pointed out the data of TUIK on “Children Came or Brought to the Security Units” was remarkable, and 16 million 400 thousand students started school and due to Turkey’s young population, school and its surroundings became a high risk target area for drug smugglers.
Prof. Dr. Erol Kahveci, Head of IUE Department of Sociology, stated that TUIK data covered all the children who came to or were brought to the Security Forces in 2013, which was a 11.6% increase compared to 2012 data. According to the data of 2013, 57.9% of these children are in the age group of 15-17, 25% of them are in the age group of 12-14, and 17.1% of them are under 11. Prof. Dr. Kahveci said, “In 2013, 115 thousand 439 children were brought in under the claim that they committed a crime defined in law. This number increased by 14.5% from 2012 to 2013. 42 thousand 540 of the 115 thousand 439 children who were brought in as juvenile delinquency were charged with assault and battery. It was also reported that 33 thousand 38 children were charged with theft, 10 thousand 504 children with using, selling, or buying drugs or substances. According to TUİK, it is determined that 41.9% of children, brought to security units for they were forced to commit a crime, are drug users. It is stated that 4 thousand 500 of them smoked marijuana, 213 used bonsai, 118 of them used heroin, and 117 of them used pills.”
Prof. Dr. Kahveci indicated that addictive drugs were common among the age group 11 and below, and the data was only based on the cases reported to the security units. Prof. Dr. Kahveci said that it was only the tip of the iceberg, and Turkey became both a target in drug trafficking and a transit country. Kahveci reported that drug trafficking in our country was more common in borders, metropolitans, and coastal towns. The Professor said, “The young population is especially in identity seeking. They become more prone to using narcotics since they are inexperienced about finding solutions to problems based on financial situations, education, and social environment. The studies reveal that legal arrangements only are not enough to solve the issue of substance addiction. Social policies are also required to prevent or lessen the use of narcotics. In addition to these, families especially have a major role in preventing the young generation from use of narcotics. Parents need to become role models. Again, studies reveal that parents are the main factors for children deciding to use substances.”
‘Drug use is a social problem’
Prof. Dr. Kahveci said that it wasn’t an easy process for parents to understand that their children used substances. Kahveci stated the following:
“Negativity towards school, absenteeism, failing grades, increased privacy about actions, or whereabouts, as well as increased use of deodorants or perfumes to cover up smells, new friends, changes in friend groups, and asking for money from others, etc. these all point out to something going wrong. Communication between children and parents, mutual understanding, being able to talk about problems openly, supporting each other becomes much more important. Drug use is a social, not an individual problem.”
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