Synthetics gaining on cannabis

Experts warn of the spread of synthetic drugs in Greece, given that their relative cheapness and their linkage to young people’s entertainment centers make them highly dangerous. For KETHEA (Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals) head Dr Haralambos Poulopoulos, the most worrying fact is that synthetic drugs – especially ecstasy – are associated with the adolescent phase of experimentation, with entertainment and with weekend relaxation. According to Katerina Matsa, responsible for the treatment program «18 ANO,» in five years’ time ecstasy will have replaced cannabis as the drug that leads to others. The Internet also fosters recreational drug use, since there are a large number of Web pages where illegal substances, including synthetic drugs, are sold. «It is practically a given that adolescents will gain access to these sites,» Poulopoulos said, stressing the importance of programs aimed at teenagers. The need for prompt prevention is emphasized by Matsa, who also points out the deeper causes for the spread of the synthetic drugs that should be sought out. «We need to look at why kids try to find ways of escaping reality, what it is in our way of life that pushes them to that point, to think about the problems that cause desperation: unemployment, poverty and violence.»