NEWS

Second girl hospitalized after taking cocaine

As a 14-year-old girl, who apparently died following use of cocaine on Sunday, was being buried in Ptolemaida yesterday a 20-year-old woman was hospitalized in Alexandroupolis after allegedly taking the same drug. The 20-year-old was unconscious but stable, according to doctors. She was hospitalized on Monday night after she passed out in the car of her 29-year-old boyfriend. He was questioned by police but then released as there was no evidence of him having supplied her with drugs. Meanwhile, the 32-year-old man believed to have supplied the 14-year-old girl from Ptolemaida with cocaine was given extra time to prepare his testimony. He is due to appear before a magistrate tomorrow. Protesters yesterday staged a rally outside Ptolemaida Town Hall, calling for the creation of drug advisory and rehabilitation centers in the area. Studies show that Greek schoolchildren do not usually purchase drugs directly from dealers but through middlemen who are often their acquaintances. «These are often friends or relatives of the pupils,» according to a spokesperson for the Organization Against Drugs (OKANA). «They tend to target kids who get a hefty pocket money allowance,» he said. Cocaine is known as the «rich person’s drug» as it is relatively expensive – up to 90 euros a gram. The bulk of cocaine entering the Greek market is smuggled in over the border with Albania, while some also comes from Bulgaria or from Turkey via Aegean islands such as Lesvos, Kos and Rhodes. Batches are also smuggled in from the Black Sea region and the Middle East, destined for Piraeus. Once in Greece, the bulk of cocaine is handled by the Albanian mafia, police told Kathimerini.