More help on the way for addicts

A national action plan aimed at improving care for drug addicts and boosting the process of reintegrating them into society is to be unveiled today by Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. The plan aims to offer drug replacement therapy on the national health service, develop a nationwide network for preventing drug addiction and establish an «addicts’ ombudsman.» Its emergence coincides with an increase in the use of drugs by Greeks. A recent study shows that one in five Greeks aged between 15 and 64 have had at least one experience with drugs. The same study shows that 1 in 10 teenagers aged 14 to 17 have taken drugs. The City of Athens is seeking to help some of these youngsters, and adults, by creating a drug rehabilitation unit next to the capital’s Sotiria hospital. Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis yesterday briefed President Karolos Papoulias on the project whose construction is to get under way this year. Currently some 4,500 drug addicts are on a five-year waiting list for drug rehabilitation programs.

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