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Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Practitioner Training Program was held for Country Green Crescents!

The International Federation of Green Crescent hosted an online training session regarding the Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Practitioner Training Program for Country Green Crescents from July 24-26. Expert volunteers from 19 countries, including Austria, Azerbaijan, Botswana, Palestine, Gambia, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, TRNC, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Tanzania, Greece and Zimbabwe, participated in the training program. By the end of the program, 50 participants earned certification as Green Crescent Addiction Prevention Training Program practitioners.

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Substance addiction refers to the use of substances that negatively impact the body's functions, causing harm, yet individuals find it difficult to quit using these substances. The International Federation of Green Crescent (IFGC) and all Country Green Crescents work together to raise awareness about substance addiction and strive towards a healthier world.

What is substance addiction?

Substance addiction is a pathological condition characterized by an individual's impulsive engagement in substance use, loss of control over the substance and the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms when not using. This condition is a psychiatric disorder rapidly spreading globally, leading to life-threatening situations, significant health problems and broad social issues. The persistence of substance use and the inability to quit despite harm are fundamental characteristics of this disease.

Country Green Crescents operating under the International Federation of Green Crescent actively play a role in preventing substance addiction. The International Federation of Green Crescent, with a comprehensive approach to addiction, not only addresses substance addiction but also collaborates with Country Green Crescents in a determined effort against other types of addiction. The goal is to create a global network of solidarity against substance addiction through local awareness campaigns and international projects.


Currently, substance use is a significant problem, especially among the youth. Those who take the first steps into the world of substances out of curiosity often find themselves tackling substance addiction. Substance addiction renders individuals unable to maintain their daily lives and relationships; the body craves more substance each day and the previous dose becomes insufficient. If the amount of substance used continually and regularly increases and the substance is consumed more rapidly each day, it signifies the initiation of substance addiction.

Individuals unwilling to accept this reality systematically plan their next substance use, contemplate where and how to obtain it and despite knowing the harm and the wrongness, persist in using the substance, overcoming any obstacles to reach it. This is because they are aware that if they pause or reduce the dose, withdrawal symptoms will occur.

Withdrawal is the totality of physical and mental disorders experienced intensely when an individual reduces the amount and frequency of substance use, making it impossible to continue life. Common withdrawal symptoms include aggression, anger, crises of nerves, restlessness and a tendency towards suicide. Individuals who want to avoid this situation persist in substance consumption despite all the material and medical challenges.

In those who insist on continuing these processes and refuse treatment for addiction, the body, brain functions and heart may fail due to the increasing dose's inadequacy, leading to serious consequences. Individuals seeking treatment can approach hospitals, addiction treatment centers and psychiatric clinics to receive care. The treatment, conducted through collaboration between the patient and the doctor, typically involves detoxification in the hospital for 2-6 weeks, followed by psychosocial therapy for a year.

It is essential to remember that the best way to protect oneself from substance addiction is never to start.

What are the Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least two symptoms of substance addiction must occur within the last year, causing significant distress and a decrease in functionality. The symptoms include:

  • Intense desire and need for obtaining and using the substance.
  • Tendency to increase the dosage used.
  • Intense sensitivity to the physical and psychological effects of the substance and seeking these effects.
  • Making the substance a significant element in the person's life.
  • Repeatedly impeding work, home or school responsibilities due to substance use.
  • Being under the influence of substances in potentially dangerous situations (e.g., while driving) repeatedly.
  • Legal issues related to substance use.
  • Substance use causing repeated and persistent problems in social life and close relationships but continuing despite these issues.
  • Continuing substance use despite knowing its negative physical or mental effects.
  • Developing tolerance to the substance, requiring increased amounts for the desired effect or experiencing decreased effects with the same amount.
  • Withdrawal symptoms (nausea, insomnia, vomiting, irritability, depression, restlessness, aggression, diarrhea, sweating, tremors, muscle aches, fever, etc.).

What are the Effects of Substance Use Disorder?

Substance addiction affects various regions of the central nervous system, causing both physical and psychological damage. These effects include:

  • Rendering the mind and willpower non-functional, distancing individuals from normal life and behaviors.
  • Inducing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and stomach and intestinal spasms/bleeding.
  • Causing harm to all internal organs, leading to various diseases.
  • Resulting in poisoning and potential death.
  • Diminishing the individual's adaptability to the environment, causing the individual to rapidly isolate from family and surroundings, often accompanied by severe depression.

What Should You Do?

Some ways for the relatives of substance users include:

  • Speaking may not be helpful if the person is under the influence.
  • Avoiding talking until you feel ready.
  • Being open, sincere and convincing without giving advice.
  • Avoiding generalizations.
  • Not speaking based on fears.
  • Avoiding labeling the person as a "user"; approaching someone labeled as a user is challenging.
  • Recognizing your biases ("These people are hopeless") to reduce the likelihood of miscommunication.
  • Trying to understand the person's thoughts, experiences and fears by putting yourself in their shoes.
  • Persuading them with a sincere approach to seek professional help.

What Should You Avoid?

Some points to be careful about for the relatives of substance users include:

"No, my child would never use."

• Self-blame and blaming the spouse

"This child turned out this way because of you."

"We couldn't be good parents."

• Feeling disappointment and helplessness

"Did I raise you for this?"

"Everything is over; nothing can be the same again."

• Anger

"I can't have a child like this!"

• Blaming and humiliating the child

"You won't amount to anything."

• Making extreme decisions

"Your school life is over."

How Does Green Crescent Counseling Center (YEDAM) Support Substance Addiction?

Green Crescent Counseling Center (YEDAM) is a service provided by the Turkish Green Crescent Society for individuals with substance addictions aged 12 and above, offering completely free psychosocial support. The center conducts an evaluation meeting with the individual and an expert psychologist upon application, forming a collaborative treatment plan. The program covers intervention in addiction, prevention of relapse, intervention in accompanying mental disorders, family relationships and lifestyle. In addition, meetings with a social worker provide support on issues such as education, work, life skills, relationships with friends, coping with activities and environment and accessing proper medical support.

More Latest News


The International Federation of Green Crescent recently held its inaugural webinar, titled "The Art of Fundraising," as part of its Capacity Building Program. This initiative aims to help Country Green Crescents more effectively access international and regional funding sources. The webinar, held on December 21, 2023, brought together 55 representatives from 24 countries and featured insights from five distinguished speakers across two sessions. The first session, "Fundraising Strategies and Opportunities for NGOs", included presentations by Matej Kosir from UTRIP and Jan Peloza from Impact Hub. The second session, "Empowering Fundraising Capacity in NGOs," featured a presentation by Dr. Mohammed Tariq Sonnan from UNODC. This was followed by exchanging experience from Dr. Ahmed Fairuz Bin Mohamed, President of Green Crescent Malaysia; Dr. Tajudeen Abiola, Secretary General of Green Crescent Nigeria; and Dr. Mousa Daoud, President of Green Crescent Jordan. In a poignant moment during the program, we honored Dr. Omar Farwana, President of Green Crescent Palestine, who tragically lost his life along with his family during the Gaza attacks on October 15. A commemoration speech and a short film were presented in his memory. The International Federation of Green Crescent will continue its webinar series under the Capacity Building Program, aiming to guide and support Country Green Crescents in effectively utilizing international and regional funding sources and enhancing their overall capacities.

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