Greece Country Profile

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Drug policy

  • The Greek National Drug Strategy (2014-20), developed by the National Committee for the Coordination and Planning of Drugs Responses, places a balanced emphasis on reducing drug demand and drug supply
  • The strategy is based on a five pillar model covering (i) demand reduction (prevention; information and awareness raising; early detection and intervention; harm reduction; treatment; and social rehabilitation); (ii) supply reduction; (iii) coordination; (iv) training, monitoring, research and evaluation; and (v) international cooperation

Treatment and Recovery Services

  • Treatment services are non-profit and they are fully or partially subsidized by the government
  • Hospitalisation and medication therapy is available to all vulnerable social groups and to those without social security.
  • The main treatment options for substance use disorders are psychosocial interventions and opioid substitution treatment (OST).
  • Specialist drug treatment and counselling centres provide separate services for adolescents and adults
  • Reintegration programmes support drug users back into the community.
  • Residential drug treatment units, therapeutic communities and prison units provide inpatient treatment.
  • The inpatient treatment typically follows a 21day programme. There is also psychosocial treatment, mental health screening and referral services available.
  • There have been several therapeutic communities developed.
  • In Greece, and more specifically in Athens, there are three Early Intervention Programmes for cannabis users, which are included in the analysis of the drug-free outpatient programmes for adolescents.

Prevention Services

  • Drug prevention is primarily delivered through Prevention Centres for Addiction and Psychosocial Health Promotion. 
  • Environmental universal prevention focuses on regulating access to alcohol and tobacco.
  • Within both primary and secondary schools, prevention programmes emphasise the development of personal and social skills.
  • Prevention centres organise teachertraining seminars on drug and alcohol awareness. 
  • Prevention agencies use the Internet to deliver information about the interventions they deliver.
  • There is a call for peer support and suggestions when it comes to the formulation, implementation and the evaluation of harm reduction services. 
  • Parents are one of the main target groups for prevention interventions in Greece.
  • Selective prevention interventions target at-risk groups and individuals including young offenders, young people who experiment with drugs, immigrants, returning migrants, refugees, disabled children, children from dysfunctional environments, at-risk families and children living in care institutions.
  • Selective prevention activities include individual and group counseling and a referral service.
  • The "Persons Who Use Drugs Countcampaign aims increase awareness among the general population of the need to implement an integrated model of harm reduction interventions. 
  • With regards to harm reduction, interventions include the provision of clean needles and syringes, condoms, printed health education and information materials, and training in safe use and first aid for drug users.