ADDICTA: The Turkish Journal on Addictions
Research Article

Psycho-social Factors that Lead to Heroin Addiction among Young Males in Turkey


Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, KTO Karatay University, Akabe Mah. Alaaddin Kap Cad. No: 130 Karatay, Konya Turkey


Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Alcohol and Substance Addiction Treatment Center, Ankara Turkey

Addicta 2018; 5: 577-595
DOI: 10.15805/addicta.2018.5.3.0037
Read: 764 Downloads: 341 Published: 30 April 2018

Heroin has become a subject of growing concern in Turkey due to the rapid increase among young adults using and becoming addicted to it. Thus, the purpose of this qualitative study is to identify the psycho-social factors that lead to heroin addiction in young males based on their life experiences. The sample consists of 18 young males (aged 18-24) who have been diagnosed with heroin addiction and are currently receiving inpatient treatment for substance use disorder. Based on the semi-structured face-to-face interviews, the findings reveal that heroin addiction develops gradually over time as an outcome of various preliminary factors. Such factors include: lack of interest in school and family relationships, growing up in the street culture, a tendency toward addiction, and negative role models/peers. Moreover, the progression of addiction results in physical, mental, social, and economic losses, all of which trigger the desire to quit heroin and seek treatment. The implication of the findings is that, because heroin addiction is an outcome of various factors, multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary studies on heroin addiction that include the life experiences of heroin addicts are necessary.

To cite this article: Alptekin, K., Mutlu, E., Paltun, C. S., & Göka, E. (2018). Psycho-social factors that lead to heroin addiction among young males in Turkey. Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions, 5, 577‒595. addicta.2018.5.3.0037

ISSN 2148-7286 EISSN 2149-1305