NEWS

Ptolemaida takes lead against drug problem

PTOLEMAIDA – Earlier this year, the death here of a 14-year-old schoolgirl from a drug overdose made headlines around the country and brought the people of this town out onto the streets in a demonstration to show the people of Athens and Thessaloniki that drug abuse is an ever-present threat to youth in the provinces. At that time, officials made portentous speeches about measures to keep young people away from drugs, as children of increasingly younger ages were found to be using narcotics. Television crews moved into the town to report on the problem and accusations flew thick and fast. Eventually, as usually happens, when the spotlight was switched off, there was less talk and people went back to their armchairs. Nearly three months later, the drugs are still circulating in the same quantities. Just a few days ago, another schoolgirl aged 18 was taken to the local hospital in a comatose state after using drugs. Despite the lack of an intensive-care facility, doctors were able to save her life at the last minute. Locals believe that the 14-year-old’s death was just the tip of the iceberg, but only very few of them are prepared to do much about it.