TRNC fight against drug addiction

A protocol was signed between the Ministry of Health and Pink Mansion Psychiatric Hospital. Drug addicts can now be referred to the Pink Mansion hospital for treatment and 80 percent of the treatment costs of patients will be covered by the State.

Minister of Health Ali Pilli, President of the Anti-Drug Commission Hasan Karaokçu and his team, serving in the fight against addiction, visited the Pink Mansion Psychiatric Karsiyaka.

Minister Pilli toured the hospital and received information about the work carried out from Pink Mansion Psychiatric Hospital Chief Physician. Dr. Mehmet Çakici and hospital founder Hüda Hüdaverdi.   Minister Ali Pilli had lunch with the patients who were being treated and rehabilitated at the hospital and had the opportunity to have contact with the patients and chat.

Speaking during the visit, Minister Ali Pilli emphasised that they are very determined to fight addiction and reintegrate dependent patients in our country. “It is our obligation to ensure that our young people who have financial problems are treated with state support”.

Due to the lack of rehabilitation centres in our country, addicts who have wanted to receive treatment have had to pay large sums for treatment abroad for years, and the people who have no financial means cannot be treated.  Dr. Mehmet Çakici said, “Our Minister of Health has taken an historic step to provide treatment for dependent patients in our country with the support of the State and signed this protocol The treatment of our addicts is very important for us because unfortunately our addicts are involved in traffic accidents and crime, they become the tools of drug dealers, families, burrows and many young people die as a result of drugs”.

The Minister of Health drew attention to the fact that alcohol and substance addiction is one of the biggest problems in our society as well as all over the world.  He said, “States give priority to the fight against addiction and social problems. In our country, we give serious importance to this problem with the Anti-Drugs Commission established under the Prime Ministry. As a person who has seen the negative effects of addiction problems in my 35-year career, I am a person who knows the importance of combating addiction”.

Stating that he visited the Pink Mansion Psychiatric Hospital for the second time, Minister Pilli stressed that the physical structure of the centre is good and that it is served by experts and professionals in the field.  Minister Ali Pilli pointed out that the most important part of rehabilitation and treatment is that the treatments are given by professional people.  He said that Dr. Mehmet Çakici is a person who has made great contributions in the fight against addictions in our country for many years.

“I sincerely believe that Pink Mansion Psychiatry Hospital will be beneficial for our society. Professor Dr. Mehmet Çakici’s achievements in this regard have been known by our society for years. We, the Government and the Ministry, want it to be known that we will support and contribute to every step taken in the fight against addiction. This is an initial step and many more steps will be taken in the fight against addiction in the coming periods.

With the fight against alcohol and substance dependence to be established by the state in the coming periods, the cooperation with the Pink Mansion Treatment Centre will continue. We are highly committed to combating addictions and reintegrating dependent patients in our country. It is our debt to ensure that our young people who do not have the finances are treated with state support”.

Stressing that this cooperation is only a first step, Minister Pilli said that many more important steps will be taken in terms of combating addictions in the coming period.

President of the Anti-Drug Commission Hasan Karaokçu said ”We are very happy if we have contributed to an historical step in the fight against drugs. Since we took office, we have fought hard for treatment and rehabilitation. I have been working with the fifth government during my five-year term and we have fought this issue in every government term. Although there were many tides, we could not implement this project and unfortunately we lost many young people in this process.”

Hasan Karaokçu emphasised that they can shed a light to the painful and afflicted families who applied to the Anti-Drug Commission.  When the Minister of Health came to his office, he told me: ‘I came to this duty to perform. I will continue this determination to the end and if I do not succeed, I will go back to my clinic’.

Stating that both the drug addicts and their families suffered greatly, Karaokçu said that drug addicts had been treated at the Peace Mental and Neurological Diseases Hospital in the hope that drug addicts might stay away from drugs, but these attempts failed every time.

Hasan Karaokçu, stated that there is a truly modern and fully equipped rehabilitation centre in our country, and said: “We have fought for years not to send our drug addicts to prison. Although we faced great resistance, we ensured the legalisation of probation but due to the lack of a rehabilitation and treatment centre, drug addicts who could not be treated or failed in this process were sent to prison at the end of the day. I now believe that the Probation Law will work more efficiently. ”

He added that an important step in the fight against drugs is through education. Past Education Ministers in this regard cannot provide any progress in the fight against addictions and criticised that the issue cannot be added to the curriculum.

Dr. Mehmet Çakici said he was honoured with Health Minister Ali Pilli’s visit to the Centre and stressed that a great step has been taken in our country after many years to fight addiction.

In accordance with Minister Ali Pilli’s request and suggestion, a protocol was signed between the Pink Mansion Psychiatry Hospital and the Ministry of Health with a decision taken by the Council of Ministers on 26 September. Hasan Karaokçu, President of the Anti-Drug Commission, also contributed great support and effort in this regard.

Mehmet Çakici said, addicts can now be treated with the support of the State and 80 percent of the treatment costs of patients referred to the Pink Mansion will be covered by the State. After the Pink Mansion was put into operation, Mehmet Çakici said that the addicts who escaped hospitalisation under normal conditions are now lining up to receive treatment and that they apply for treatment at the Pink Mansion with the support of the State.

During a four-month period, patients from Denmark, Jordan, Cyprus and Belgium have applied to our centre as well as patients in our own country. In fact, we are also doing health tourism here. We have reversed the situation for the first time, and instead of sending our citizens abroad for treatment, we have now managed to bring foreign nationals to our country for treatment, which is a big step forward.

 Source: Ministry of Health

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