The Green Crescent, established in 1920, combats addiction to alcohol, substances, tobacco, gambling, and technology, and operates in 70 countries, spreading the fight against addiction throughout the world. What does the Green Crescent do? How does it work? Let’s take a look at a general outline of its operations.
The Green Crescent, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, was established by a group of important intellectuals including doctors, psychologists, lawyers, journalists, and religious leaders. Today, the Green Crescent, established during the Turkish War for Independence with the aim of preventing addiction to alcohol, has expanded its campaign launched 100 years ago, focusing on substances, tobacco, gambling, and technological addictions.
The Green Crescent is the only non-governmental organization that combats addiction on a global scale. The organization has almost 120 branches throughout Turkey, and worldwide, it has a presence in 70 countries. With 110 university clubs and hundreds of thousands of volunteers giving support to the organization, its work serves as a global example.
The Green Crescent strives to prevent addiction to alcohol, substances, tobacco, gambling, and technology, and to protect individuals from such harmful habits. The Green Crescent has not only created and implemented projects in this area, but also supports the rehabilitation of individuals suffering from addiction.
A Scientific Approach to Combating Addiction
The Green Crescent carries out research and development activities using scientific and data-based approaches to combat addiction, and creates projects according to the results attained.
The Green Crescent organizes symposiums, conventions, and workshops on the subject of addiction to alcohol, tobacco, substances, and technology. It also shares its expertise and experience with all institutions that combat addiction throughout the world, like the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
YEDAM (Green Crescent Consultancy Center) was established by the Green Crescent as a rehabilitation service in 2015, and provides free psychological consultation and rehabilitation support to addicts and their families. The YEDAM teams consist of psychologists who are experts in the field of addiction, and inform those who contact them about substance abuse and alcohol addiction, give them advice, and provide advisory services.
People who are struggling with addiction to tobacco, alcohol, substances, gambling, and internet addiction, and who apply to YEDAM receive free psychological and social support, and are treated as outpatients. There are 40 YEDAM centers in Turkey with teams consisting of psychologists who are experts in addiction. Programs are recommended to the individuals who apply to the center and advice is given to the individual, their families, and loved ones on how to repair their disrupted lifestyles and maintain healthy relationships. Moreover, if a member of a family is suffering from one of these addictions but refuses the offer of help, another family member can apply and continue to receive information and advisory services.
The Addiction Training Program of Turkey (TBM)
The TBM is a socially based universal training program that has been developed by the Green Crescent which strives to raise awareness across society, particularly in children and young people, about the five types of addiction. The aim is to provide information about the principles of healthy living for this target audience and to prevent addiction. There are 32,872 guidance counsellors involved in this program, which has been carried out by the Green Crescent and the Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Education. Every year, these counsellors reach 10 million students and 2 million adults. This program has been spread throughout the country via the Public Education Centers. The TBM targets students first, and then society as a whole, widening its efforts to combat addiction with institutional cooperation.
A Model of Combatting Addiction
The Turkish Addiction Rehabilitation Model/Center
In order to combat effectively the increasing use of drugs, it is important to ensure integration in social life after the treatment for addiction. The Green Crescent carries out effective activities in combating addiction in every area with an integrated approach, and has developed the project “Turkish Addiction Rehabilitation Model” for this purpose. This model, which includes services, financing, human resources, accreditation, and supervision of the rehabilitation centers, aims to reduce the rising relapse ratio and to rehabilitate addicts, reintroducing them to social life.
Green Detector: Remedy for Passive Smoking
Passive smoking, caused by tobacco addiction, has emerged as an important problem. Being exposed to tobacco smoke for even 30 minutes causes the same physical effects suffered by a smoker. The Green Detector mobile application, developed by the Green Crescent for those who do not want to be exposed to cigarette smoke, aims to reduce businesses and/or customers that are breaching the ban on tobacco products in closed areas. The Green Detector mobile application, which can be downloaded to a phone or tablet, sends a report to the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health by selecting location and venue; this message reaches the field inspection team. Following the report, a field inspection team goes to the location and carries out an inspection and initiates any other necessary processes.
“Healthy Generation, Healthy Future” Competition
The "Healthy Generation, Healthy Future" competition has been organized every year since 2011 with the cooperation of the Green Crescent and the Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Education, and aims to raise awareness among students, encourage their talents, and reward those who are successful. The competition evaluates works on the subject of addiction, and is organized in primary, middle, and high schools, with submissions that include posters, pictures, cartoons, compositions, and poems. Participation in the competition "A Healthy Future, A Healthy Generation" reached a record level this year. Students submitted 355,401 works in the visual category including banners, paintings, cartoons, and short videos, and 183,232 works in the literature category including compositions, poems, stories, essays, and memories were submitted.
Green Crescent Bicycle Tour
The Green Crescent Bicycle Tour, organized by the Green Crescent for the last ten years, has become a tradition, and takes place in over 50 cities. Young and old alike can participate in this tour, which aims to raise awareness of combating addiction by pedaling towards a healthier life. Last year, 3,500 people participated in the Istanbul tour.
Drawings from around the World Address Addiction
Since 2017, the Green Crescent has organized the International Green Crescent Cartoon Contest to draw the attention of the public, and particularly the youth, to the problem of addiction. The competition through humor and the universal language of cartoons, draws attention, raises awareness, and develops understanding and reflexes across all segments of society.
A total of 906 cartoons were submitted to the 4th International Green Crescent Cartoon Contest, held in 2020, by 479 cartoon artists from 55 countries. The total number of works that have been submitted to this competition has reached 3,754. The award ceremony will be held in June 2020.