Prof. Tarhan: "There is a cause-effect relationship between weak family and addiction!

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President of Üsküdar University Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan attended the 25th Annual Symposium hosted by Zeytinburnu Municipality. He participated in the traditional Merkezefendi Medical Festival. In the interview program titled "Harmful Substance Use and Family Awareness", Tarhan made evaluations on the subject of "Addiction". Tarhan stated that "The degree of addiction is increasing all over the world. From substance abuse to digital addiction..." Pointing out that when we look at the families of addicted people, most families are conflicted families, Prof. Tarhan expressed that "There are two important factors. One is bad friends, and the second is conflictive communication in the family. There is a cause and effect relationship between the weakening of the family and addiction."

"The degree of addiction is increasing all over the world"

In the interview moderated by Dr. Tuğçe Ağba Sevencan at the Zeytinburnu Medicinal Plants Garden, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan pointed out that addiction is a global condition and stated that "The degree of addiction is increasing all over the world. From substance abuse to digital addiction... It is currently referred to as behavioral addiction. Digital addiction is increasing, and as it increases, no solution to the problem can be produced. This is a global situation that is in question all over the world. It is being investigated as to why it happens. Is there a virus? Is there a depressive virus or an addictive virus? In fact, it exists. It is a social virus. People's philosophy of life has changed. Perspectives have changed. A world culture focused on pleasure has emerged in people. Addiction is also called reward failure syndrome. In other words, the area of the brain related to the reward is not saturated. One wants more rewards. When a person cannot get enough of the reward, they experience a crisis. This is how addiction arises.”

"There is a global system that has made pleasure the ideal of ego"

Drawing attention to people who see hedonism as a purpose of life, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan expressed that “These people pursue pleasure as their purpose in life. They see the pursuit of pleasure as the meaning of life. When hedonism is the purpose of life, one says, 'I came into the world once. I do what I want, I do not do what I do not want. What I like is good. What I do not like is bad. What gives me pleasure is good. Something that does not give pleasure is bad.' Values in the world have shifted. Especially, past generations were maturing in poverty. Present generations mature in abundance. There are all kinds of pleasures in the middle. Therefore, they think as 'Why should I work? Why should I be tired?' and I eat, drink, and marry as I please. This time, after a while, the brain does not get enough of the pleasure, and it wants more. Also, the brain creates a shortcut. Substances, cocaine, alcohol, these also create pleasure in the brain in a short way. They find it unnecessary to work like this, to labor, , to get tired, to develop his personality and to enjoy it. In the event of a slight stress, they immediately drink alcohol, use substances, or immerse themselves in the game as a stress reduction technique. They immerse themselves in the games on computer. They get caught up in games of chance on the Internet. In this way, there is a global system that has made pleasure the ideal of the ego. The capitalist system encourages this.”

The next generation is in serious danger!

Pointing out that substance addiction is constantly increasing, Tarhan stated that "With substance abuse, there is an increase of around 60 percent among young people, especially in the last 10 years. Compared to 20 years ago, this value is very high. If it goes on like this, it will increase in another 10 years, and the next generation is in serious danger. The method used by the Green Crescent in Türkiye is wrong. It does not work. The Green Crescent also approaches with classical methods. They advertise on television. Advertisements say that smoking is harmful, and alcohol is harmful. According to statistical studies, 85 percent of people know that smoking is harmful. They still continue to use it. So, this method does not work. There is no point in going to the same method right now. We need to use another method. Positive psychology is used in the fight against addiction all over the world. In other words, by strengthening the psychology of people in a healthy society before people become addicted, by doing psychological resilience work, by doing mental health resilience training, by teaching areas other than substances related to pleasure... Thus, they do not feel the need to use substances. This is a medium-long-term method.”

There are other disorders in the background of addiction

Pointing out that addiction should be approached from a holistic perspective, Prof. Tarhan said that "The addicted person does not think about the consequences of what they do. One thinks short-term. They say, ‘I was happy that day,’. They do not think about what is going to happen in three years, or five years. They cannot see the natural result of what they do, that is, their behavior. They are taught empathy. Most of them have other ailments in the background. Most of the patients who are addicted have concomitant depression. There are other concomitant diseases. When they recover, they do not feel the need for the substance. People who use substances do not start addiction in the first place. They turn to depression or because they see a cure for any of their problems. And when you solve your problem, when you solve your depression or anxiety, you do not feel the need for the substance. In other words, it is not difficult to treat this, but it is necessary to approach it in a holistic way."

"There is a cause and effect relationship between the weakening of the family and addiction"

Pointing out that when we look at the families of addicted people, most families are conflicted families, Prof. Tarhan said that "Communication within the family turns out to be conflictive. There are two important factors. One is bad friends, and the second is conflictive communication in the family. They are always like Tom and Jerry with each other in the family. They always peck at each other like roosters and chickens. There is a relationship in this way. When that happens, no one is happy. On the way home, children come unwillingly. In other words, when they come home, they are constantly trying to dominate and rule as if he were a commander, not a parent. The child feels insecure. They are looking for happiness outside. Most of them have it in families. If there is good communication within the family, if there is healthy communication, in such cases, even if the child tries the substance, the child looks at it as the fact that world of substance users is a fake world. The entertainments there are fake. It does not satisfy you. At first, one can be deceived by its charm and sees that there are lies, there is deceit, there is intrigue, and there is all kinds of evil. Thus, there is a fake life. When one sees this, the person says this is wrong. Family dynamics are very important. In other words, there is a cause and effect relationship between the weakening of the family and addiction."

"Normal pleasures for pleasure do not satisfy"

Stating that the duty of parents is to prepare the child for life, Tarhan expressed that "Moving on the road of life is like moving through traffic. What do you do when you are driving through traffic? If you do not know the road, you look at the traffic signs. A person knows where to turn and how to go. Traffic signs in our lives are also our values. Do not lie, be honest, be hardworking, respect someone else's rights, and show empathy. All these are values that come from our childhood. Society teaches innately. Parents teach it. When these are not taught, the child becomes a being who only thinks about their own interests. As a child, everyone is pleasant, cheerful, but after growing up, normal pleasures do not satisfy. One uses substances. It starts with substance."

"The fact that one quits when they want does not mean they are not addicted"

Talking about the characteristics of addiction, Prof. Tarhan said that "The substance is not enough to make a diagnosis of addiction. Loss of control. Some people can control it, but some people cannot stop it once they have a drink. A person drinks alcohol like they cannot stop. Also, it is same for the substance. This loss of control is significant. Another is harmful use. A person can have stomach bleeding but still uses substances. They continue to drink alcohol. It is hazardous use, harmful use. Then the activity of everyday living is disrupted. It disrupts your work. One begins to drink alcohol in the daytime. They are starting to use substances. Their productivity is decreasing. This is one of the reasons for substance use. Another person says, 'I quit whenever I want. I am not addicted.' One quits at any time, but after 3-5 days they use it in a harmful and dangerous way. In other words, the fact that a person quits when they want does not mean that they are not addicted."

“Game addiction disrupts the reward-punishment system in the brain"

Drawing attention to game addiction, Prof. Tarhan said that it is called behavioral addiction and continued his remarks as follows: "Gaming addiction disrupts the reward-punishment system in the brain in the same way that a substance does. You do not take substances in gambling. However, the network system in the brain of gamblers is disrupted. Normally, the reward pathways in the human brain are like pathways, but the reward pathways in the brains of people who use this substance are like highways. For example, a person who would normally enjoy a small thing because it is like a highway, drinks lots of alcohol to get the pleasure of something that you enjoy drinking tea and walking in nature. One uses a substance to get the same pleasure..."

The thing is to be balanced...

Pointing out that life is not just taking, but also giving, Tarhan mentioned that when something is given, there are reciprocal relations according to it. Tarhan stated that "Until recently, the family was the one who passed on culture. In Anatolia, it is said, "My daughter, be conscientious, be merciful, be compassionate, my child." All of these are emotional trainings. For example, what we call empathy is called understanding in our culture. Its official technical name is empathy. It is also called altruism. The altruist feels anxiety about human values. In other words, one does not think only of their own interests. It also considers the needs, rights and interests of the other party. This can be learned. It is learned in our culture. In other words, it does not always mean me and always me, but it means one to me and one to you. It is also not right to say always to you, always to you. Then one oppresses oneself. Therefore, the thing is to be balanced. So, life is not just taking, but a give-and-take. If you give, there are mutual relations according to that. This is not only in monetary terms. A kind word, a loving look, a smile, a few nice words, a warm touch. These are all emotional exchanges. Thus, this loving look is very important in close relationships, for example. Holding the child's hand and caressing their head when they least expect. And it will be the greatest gift you can give to that child."


Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)