NEWS

Rehab units to go to hospitals

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos and the head of the Organization Against Drugs (OKANA), Meni Malliori, yesterday heralded the creation of 17 new rehabilitation units for people addicted to drugs to be located within hospitals. The aim of the initiative, Loverdos said, is to provide more effective care for drug addicts and to improve the situation in central Athens, where many of the 25 existing OKANA centers are located. Groups of addicts gather on street corners and there have been cases of addicts trying to sell methadone acquired from OKANA clinics to other users. The OKANA programs were not to blame for the problem, Loverdos said, but the long waiting lists. Currently 5,000 people are registered at the 25 OKANA centers. Hundreds more are on the waiting list. Malliori said another problem was the new private clinics offering rehabilitation clinics without having the appropriate license to do so. She called on relatives of drug users to report them.