NEWS

Athens to get major rehab unit

Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis yesterday heralded the creation of a pioneering drug rehabilitation unit on Mesogeion Avenue designed to accommodate more than 1,000 adult and young addicts. The unit will be «innovative» by European standards, offering comprehensive support for addicts and their families, Kaklamanis said following a tour of the construction site with Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. The ministry is backing the initiative which will require 3 million euros in annual funding. The site on which the unit is to be built is near several hospitals and psychiatric clinics that have pledged to help with diagnoses and medicines. «We are determined to reduce waiting lists for drug rehabilitation,» Avramopoulos said, stressing, «At this very moment 6,000 youngsters are on the verge of death.» In the latest drug-related death to come to light, the body of a 24-year-old addict was discovered in a school yard in Thessaloniki yesterday morning. School staff found the body early yesterday before schoolchildren arrived.