ADDICTA: The Turkish Journal on Addictions
Research Article

Substance use Risk Factors and the Results of Substance use Behaviors: A Qualitative Study on the Experiences of Substance Users


Social Work Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Istinye Üniversity, Topkapı, İstanbul Turkey


Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, 300 Crittenden Blvd, Rochester, NY 14642

Addicta 2019; 6: 511-538
DOI: 10.15805/addicta.2019.6.3.0007
Read: 719 Downloads: 542 Published: 01 October 2019

Substance use is an important public health problem that needs to be prevent and intervent. Identifying the risk factors that lead to substance use behaviors and identifying the biopsychosocial problems caused by substance use behavior are important in order to cope with this problem. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine the reasons that lead individuals to substance use, their life experiences of substance use behaviors, and the biopsychosocial problems related to substance use using the document analysis method. For this purpose, 50 males were studied who were participating in addiction group work and who had been directed to probation services. The participants were asked about their life experiences related to substance use behaviors, their reasons for beginning substance use, which factors led them into substance use, and what pros and cons were in their lives after they had begun using substances. The participants’ answers were analyzed through the traditional content analysis method, a qualitative research method. According to the results, the most important risk factors that cause individuals to use substances are found to be family system, adolescence, peer and friend influence, stress and weakened coping mechanisms, loss of a significant object and mourning, accessibility and curiosity about a substance. Moreover, substance users stated that after they had begun using substances, they had to cope with psychosocial problems such as academic problems, family problems, social exclusion, depression, and suicide attempts. According to the results, many risk factors should be taken into consideration to prevent substance use behaviors, and intervention and rehabilitation studies should be planned and implemented in a hollistic perspective.

To cite this article: Görgülü, T. (2019). Substance use risk factors and the results of substance use behaviors: A qualitative study on the experiences of substance users. Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions, 6, 511–538.

ISSN 2148-7286 EISSN 2149-1305