Drug units to be taken out of crime-hit center

In a bid to crack down on the flourishing drug trade in central Athens, authorities have decided to transfer branches of the Organization Against Drugs (OKANA), which runs rehabilitation programs for addicts, into hospitals. According to a joint decision by Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis, four OKANA units located in and around central Omonia Square will be moved into hospital premises in the wider Attica area by the end of the year. The hospitals are the Amalia Fleming Hospital, the Attica Psychiatric Hospital, the Asclepieio and the Thriaseio. The main aim of the initiative is to thwart the designs of drug dealers in the area by depriving them of many of their customers. But the operation of the units within hospitals will also make it easier to treat addicts in need of medical care.