Plans to let drug users inject under supervision

An Athens municipality project plans to set up Greece?s first consumption rooms to allow users to inject drugs under medical supervision, Kathimerini understands.

Municipal officials have already rented a space near Larissis Station, in the northern part of the city center, and are in talks over a second building on Athinon Avenue.

The decision to go ahead with the plan, which is backed by the Health Ministry, was taken after failure to contain the phenomenon of users injecting drugs on the streets of the capital. Similar projects have been set up in other countries.

?Although the [state-run rehabilitation agency] OKANA facilities have been relocated to hospitals, the problem with the city?s drug users? haunts persists,? Tasos Panopoulos, head of the organization?s unit for addicts, told Kathimerini.

He said the medically supervised units will be able to cater for about 100 of the the city?s 3,000-4,000 addicts, offering advice on safe injecting, while also providing food and a place to shower. The hope is to draw users into rehab programs.