NEWS

Limiting supply, quashing demand

The other side of the action plan focuses on limiting the supply of addictive substances. Law enforcement officials have had some success in this field, bringing drug-related charges against 12,540 people in 2000, up 15 percent from 1999 (10,902 people), and confiscating larger quantities of heroin, cocaine and cannabis. But Greece’s location and the social, political and economic circumstances of the Balkan region necessitate stricter and improved law enforcement resources. To this end, the action plan includes continued training for police and coast guard officers, proper manning of border posts, three new drug squads, better policing of areas frequented by young people, a reorganization of the army’s narcotics squad, a new merchant marine drug squad and the acquisition of new technology and drug detectors for port officials throughout Greece. The centers will have programs aimed at parents, adolescents and pupils, sports teams, migrants, repatriated Greeks, army units, Gypsies and other groups. By 2004, the number of youth counseling centers should grow from the existing 16, with the addition of one per prefecture. Other services will attempt to target drug-users who have not reached the stage of addiction.