NEWS

Drug rehab: The more determined are able to pick up their lives

The chances that drug addicts have of winning the difficult battle of rehabilitation and a subsequent return to normal living conditions and society, have increased, but seriously depend on the time they remain in drug rehabilitation clinics. According to a recent study of effectiveness conducted by KETHEA, the state body that oversees drug rehabilitation units, in cooperation with the Department of Sociology at the School for Public Health (ESDY), which surveyed 551 people (445 men and 116 women) who had been admitted to one of KETHEA’s six rehabilitation centers from January 1, 1994 through December 31, 1995, the largest percentage of those who managed to completely stay off drugs were also those who had attended a rehabilitation program for more than a year. The purpose of the study, the findings of which were presented on Wednesday during a news conference by ESDY Professor of Sociology Dimitris Agrafiotis, was to record the condition of drug addicts five years after their initial admission to a rehab clinic. Of those interviewed for the study, 35.7 percent stayed at a rehabilitation unit for over a year; 41.2 percent at least six months; while 57.7 percent were admitted for over three months. But, even though 42.3 percent of those interviewed left the rehab program within 90 days, 76 percent of them returned later to try again. In the initial phase of their admittance, 96.1 percent of the addicts drug of choice was heroin. Five years later, there was a recorded decline in drug use by 73 percent for those who had completed a year or more of rehab, while only 11 percent of those who had stayed in programs for just three months remained drug-free. Similar findings were also recorded with abusers of other substances, pharmaceutical products, pills, and cannabis. Moreover, their involvement in illegal activity leading to arrest, conviction and imprisonment, was reduced by 64 percent in the case of those who had remained for longer periods at rehabilitation centers. Improvement in the ability to find and keep a job was also substantial, 157 percent for those who had stayed for three months and 227 percent for those who had stayed for over a year. Proposed plans by the center for the creation of new rehabilitation clinics include three rehab programs, in Alexandroupolis, Kavala and Volos, a counseling center in Piraeus, outreach programs for youth and their families in Thessaloniki, as well as a center for social reintegration in Athens. Cyprus has repeatedly proven that it has nothing to do with terrorism and money laundering, we have passed the international test with flying colors, said Christodoulou. A Foreign Ministry source told AFP that the government made representations about being put on any kind of FAA blacklist and asked for clarification after the story appeared in Tuesday’s Athens press.