Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Original Article

Life Chart of Substance Use Career: A Clinical Profile Study from Turkey


Department of Psychology, Istanbul Kent University, Istanbul, Turkey


Alcohol and Substance Addiction Treatment Center, Moodist Psychiatry Hospital, Istanbul Turkey


The Turkish Green Crescent Counseling Center, Istanbul, Turkey

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2023; 33: 117-125
DOI: 10.5152/pcp.2023.23617
Read: 876 Downloads: 416 Published: 01 June 2023

Background: The “career approach,” developed to understand substance use and treatment, is important because it can broadly encompass the complexity of addiction patterns and help to better illustrate the chronic and recurrent nature, correlations, and consequences of addiction. The current study aimed to examine the substance use career and patterns of patients diagnosed with substance use disorder.

Methods: The authors created a questionnaire that included questions inquiring at what age several substance use-related life events occurred. The Addiction Profile Index was used to collect sociodemographic data and measure substance use disorder severity. Descriptive statistics and group comparisons were conducted to evaluate the data.

Results: Of the cases (n=400), 72.7% began using substances before the age of 18, but only 12.4% (n=68) sought treatment by that age. There were approximately 8 years between starting substance use and seeking treatment. Substance use was noticed by the family approximately 5 years after it started. There was a difference between males and females in terms of the age of experiencing adverse life events due to substance use, with females being earlier (P=.030). Similarly, individuals with opioid use disorder experienced adverse life events due to substance use at an earlier age than the non-opioid group (P = .001).

Conclusion: Identifying patient characteristics associated with the course of use in people who use different substances of choice and examining the differences in lifelong substance use patterns among these groups will help develop targeted treatment services and policies.

Cite this article as: Guliyev C, Simsek M, Bezek-Dino S, Ogel K. Life chart of substance use career: A clinical profile study from Turkey. Psychiatry Clin Psychopharmacol. 2023;33(2):117-125.

EISSN 2475-0581