ONLINE GAMING AND GAMBLING ADDICTION ARE MENTAL DISEASES

20.06.2018
Online Gaming and Gambling Addiction are Mental Diseases

Technology addiction experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) gathered on 29 November-1 December for the ‘Fourth Meeting on Public Health Implications of Addictive Behaviors’ meeting that is hosted by Turkish Green Crescent. During this meeting, topics such as prevention, protection, treatment, rehabilitation of online gaming and online gambling addiction were discussed and serious preparations were done for ICD-11 (International Classification of Disease). In this context, online gaming and gambling addiction were officially defined as diseases during ICD-11 which was held in June.

Turkish Green Crescent continuous to sign exemplary works in the world with its scientific studies, congresses, preventive and awareness-raising training that has been done in the field of technology addiction. Turkish Green Crescent, which is an organization focuses on technology addiction at most around the world and works in this field, has made 35 experts from 15 countries discuss technology addiction with all aspects in the 4th International Green Crescent Technology Addiction Congress inaugurated by the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan between 27-28 November 2017. 

Right after the Congress, technology addiction experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) gathered on 29 November-1 December for the ‘Fourth Meeting on Public Health Implications of Addictive Behaviors’ meeting that is hosted by Turkish Green Crescent. During this meeting, topics such as disease, prevention, protection, treatment, rehabilitation of online gaming and online gambling addiction were discussed and serious preparations were done for ICD-11 (International Classification of Disease). The main objective of the meeting that is hosted by The Green Crescent in Istanbul in 2017, at last in Hong Kong in 2016, was the identification and classification of the problems and diseases arose from technology addiction, which is a type of behavioral addiction. The decisions and results of the meeting have been a basis for the diagnosis of technology addiction on ICD-11 which has been explained and implemented by WHO with the last updates around the world in 2018 while its last version had been determined as ICD-10 in 1990.

After the important contributions of The Green Crescent on the definition of online gaming and gambling addiction as an illness, online gaming and gambling addiction have officially been defined as diseases in the ICD-11 meeting held in June.

Online gaming and gambling addiction are now officially diseases
Vladimir Poznyak the Coordinator of Management of Substance Abuse unit at the World Health Organization, Prof. Dr. Mücahit Öztürk the President of Turkish Green Crescent and Dr. Mehmet Dinç the Vice President of Turkish Green Crescent have moderated the meeting “Fourth Meeting on Public Health Implications of Addictive Behaviors” in which more than 20 experts have joined.

During and after the meeting, Dr. Mehmet Dinç the Vice President of Turkish Green Crescent, who stated his opinions about the WHO’s definitions of online gaming and gambling addictions as official diseases, said: “Online gaming and gambling addiction, one of the subtopics of WHO’s technology addiction, will lead to very dangerous consequences and it has been discussed that this type of addiction will be included in mental health disorders in the meeting held on December 2017 and on ICD-11 in 2018. In this meeting, as The Green Crescent, we had very important contributions and in the previous days, WHO has officially defined online gaming and gambling addiction as diseases and completed its work in this field. Although technology addiction is a condition which is not seen as an addiction and found innocent, is now defined as a disease. Consciousness and awareness are among the best preventive precautions against this disease.  The lack of alternatives and the unconsciousness are big obstacles in front of the users facing this problem originates from uncontrolled, unlimited, unneeded consumption. It is possible to overcome these obstacles by knowing how to use technological tools when needed.”

In his explanation, Dr. Mehmet Dinç, who stated that there are 3 signs of technology addiction according to WHO, said: “The first one these signs is that gaming behavior precludes other social activities. The second one is that this behavior cannot be prevented. The third one is that it causes a person to get stressed in a way and it does not allow the person to spare time to his personal, social and educational field. Ultimately, insomnia, nutritional deficiencies and physical problems are happening. For this behavior to be accepted as an addiction, at least 12 months are needed.”



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