ADDICTA: The Turkish Journal on Addictions
Research Article

Investigating Drug-Using University Students’ Existential Problems*


(PhD), Department of Guidance and Psychological Counseling, Faculty of Education, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University, Nevşehir Turkey

Addicta 2019; 6: 25-50
DOI: 10.15805/addicta.2019.6.1.0037
Read: 123 Downloads: 97 Published: 25 February 2019

In examining the literature, many studies have revealed substance abuse to be explainable on an existential basis. However, when examining the Turkish literature, a limited amount of research is found to have focused on the relationship between drug use and existential psychological concepts. This study aims to contribute to the literature by examining university students’ substance abuse in the context of existential problems. For this purpose, qualitative interviews have been conducted with 12 university students (eight males and four females). The study began with one substance-using university student and reached the other participants using the snowball sampling method. Data have been collected through two separate interviews with the participants. The participants were asked to evaluate themselves in the first interview in the scope of existentialism. In the second interview, the findings from the first meeting and the issue of existentialism were discussed with the participants. Afterwards, the participants were asked questions about the relationship between their substance-use behaviors and their existence. A 25-question, semi-structured interview form developed by the researcher has been used to collect the necessary data. The data obtained in the study has been analyzed using NVIVO 10, a qualitative data-analysis program. According to the research findings, substance-using university students have difficulty making meaning from their lives, cannot balance freedom and responsibility, have isolated loneliness instead of constructive and productive loneliness, and have neurotic anxiety. When generally evaluating the research findings, the assumptions of existentialism appear to be explanatory in regard to substance abuse.

To cite this article: Yöntem, M. K. (2019). Investigating drug-using university students’ existential problems. Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions, 6, 25−50.

ISSN 2148-7286 EISSN 2149-1305