Alcohol Consumption and Views on Alcohol Research and Control Policies in Turkey: A Qualitative Study

MERCAN S., Onaran O. I., Ilbak A., Atasoy H., TELOĞLU E. Ş., TORUN P., ...More

ADDICTA-THE TURKISH JOURNAL ON ADDICTIONS, vol.5, no.3, pp.495-505, 2018 (ESCI) identifier


This study aims to determine the culture of alcohol consumption and elicit the views of drinkers, former drinkers, and nondrinkers on alcohol consumption, alcohol research, and alcohol control policies. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed using Thematic Framework analysis. Alcohol consumption was described as a means for socialising and relaxing by the drinkers, whereas unhappiness, anxiety and depression by the non-drinkers. The participants have argued that the responses in alcohol studies are unreliable due to social characteristics and that alcohol research should be conducted by institutions, not the state. Interviewers were suggested to have come across as objective, non-judgmental, and likeable with a reassuring attitude and to have used body language appropriately. The participants support a positive approach in control policies by increasing awareness, and prohibition is not believed achievable in practice or to be an effective alcohol control policy as it instead makes drinking attractive. Therefore, the recommendation is to target the whole population by increasing facilities with social activities and encouraging social life. In conclusion, the study has provided valuable hints for planning alcohol research and control policies, and it is especially useful for understanding the background of alcohol consumption culture in Turkey.