Mobile sociologists working for Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Oya Bahadır Yüksel Youth Center provide treatment for drug-addicted children and teens. Learning to live without using drugs, controling their anger and communicating in the center, patients under 18 are followed by psychologists after their treatment is completed.
Speaking to an AA reporter, Cenk Yancar, the manager of the center, said drug-addicted children and teens aged 13-18 are treated in the center which began operating in 2008.
Emphasizing that they support the patients in various fields such as accommodation, treatment, rehabilitation, education, going back to the family and social life, Yancar explained that the program was created by Prof. David Powell and his staff, who is founder of the International Centre for Drug Addiction Research and a member of Yale University psychiatry clinic.
Yancar emphasized that their primary aim is to reintroduce the troubled youth back into the society, adding, "We are trying to show the children who were disappointed with life for various reasons that they can be successful in some fields. We are applying a change-oriented program instead of punishment for those children who were already punished or unsuccessful."
Yancar also pointed out that the total number of beds is 31 in facilities that are affiliated to the Ministry of Health and to universities where drug-addicted teens and children are treated, while they provide treatment for 50 people in the center.
Saying that the patients are reached mostly by the mobile staff, Yancar told:
"Our mobile staff consisting of sociologists first determine the places in which drug-addicted children are located. Then they try to convince them to be treated. By means of this system, which we consider to be the first in Turkey, we reach the patients; they do not need to reach us. We have only one condition, which is to train their families as well. The families are also trained during the six-month treatment process, because if they are not trained, the treatment might not be successful."
Stating that one of the distinct features of the system is "follow-up,"Yancar emphasized that almost a 1000 people have benefited from the centre so far, and our experts still follow the situation of 700 people whose treatment is complete. He also added that there are differences between drug abuse in children and in teens.