EURAD begins Drug Addiction Awareness Project with Turkish Green Crescent

EURAD begins Drug Addiction Awareness Project with Turkish Green Crescent

This week, members of EURAD are in Istanbul to begin the first staff training programme.

Added: 25th May 2015

EURAD is participating in a project on drug addiction awareness with Turkish Green Crescent. The project, which is sponsored by Erasmus + Programme, brings together addiction professionals from Portugal, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey.

Taking part in the programme from EURAD are Fay Watson, Secretary General (Co-ordination of the project), Sarah Cervantes Lopez, Clinicial Psychologist (Vila Voortman), Alfred Lagerweij (Member of EURAD/Board Member of Moedige Moeders) and  Karl De Leeuw, (Member of EURAD).

Aims of the project:

  • To undertake research with parents of people who use drugs on the issues facing them

  • To run a media competition with universities in The Netherlands to develop a social media campaign based on the research, depending on needs of parents in The Netherlands

  • For each organisation staff to receive health communication and health research training

Immediate Timescales of the project:

  • April: Kick off project meeting in Istanbul

  • April: Recruitment of EURAD team (established as above)

  • May:  Staff training programme in Turkey (Health Communication Strategies)

  • May-June:  Planning of EURADs September Training Programme

  • May-June:  Beginning of research study and connection with parent support groups

  • June:  Staff training programme in Lithuania

  • September: Staff training in The Netherlands (EURAD)

  • October: Staff training in Portugal (Dianova)

Summary of the staff training in Turkey:   

Savas Yilmaz, General Manager of Yesilay – Turkish Green Crescent Society opened the training programme with an overview of Drug Policies in Turkey and guided the group through its action plan. He explained how important action had taken place within the government from September 2014 and March 2015, culminating with the new anti-drug strategy being adopted. On the strategic level, a High Council of Fight Against Addiction had been established, which gathers every 6 months under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister. Within the new action plan are important actions to implement a new social rehabilitation mechanism to follow drug treatment programmes, the establishment of a new 24/7 drug helpline, further communication and public awareness programmes as well as an extensive addiction training programme, where so far 13,000 professionals have trained under a “train the trainer model” which will roll out further training to 20 million students.

We were then provided with an in-depth  explanation of the drug problem in Turkey, by the EMCDDA focal point of Turkey, Dr Elif Mutlu Tubim. At the moment, treatment service provision (for alcohol and drugs) lies at 22 treatment centres. The outpatient capacity lies around 249,763 with half of this number related to the probation service. Whilst around 90% of people in drug treatment are men, there is no gender specific treatment or specialist service for women, as well as no current specialist system in prisons. Much of the drug treatment is based on clinical detox for 1 month although there are plans to develop longer term rehabilitative support.

The following four days included intensive training on Health Communication Research, Effective Communication Strategies and Media Relations, which were delivered by Prof Gokhan Savas (Ankara University), Prof Peyami Celikcan (Sehir University) and Prof Ali Murat Vural (Istanbul University).

The team left with a good vision of how to plan the training session in The Netherlands and the integral components of the parents and drugs campaign which will later be developed by EURAD.

EURAD begins Drug Addiction Awareness Project with Turkish Green Crescent

EURAD representatives at Yesilay HQ, Istanbul