The Greek ministry of health is preparing an amendment that will open the way for the creation of supervised drug consumption facilities in Athens.
These spaces will provide addicts with sterile materials to use illicit drugs under the strict supervision of trained staff, in a hygienic environment.
The legislation aims to reduce the risks of disease transmission through unhygienic injecting, prevent overdose deaths and connect drug users with addiction treatment and other social services.
Health Minister Andreas Xanthos said staff in these facilities will keep a record of the users and their operation will be determined by a ministerial decision.
The government’s central legislative committee is working on the draft legislation and, once finished, it will submit it to Parliament in a draft bill on the restructuring of the National Healthcare Service (ESY).
Supervised drug consumption facilities have been operating in Europe for the last three decades and have produced positive results: they reduce overdose mortality and high-risk behavior by users and are a first step towards access to treatment and services, while they also reduce the nuisance for residents in neighborhoods adjacent to drug trafficking sites.