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The first methadone treatment programme launched in Patras

02 September 2014 / 10:09:01  GRReporter
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"Agios Stefanos" prison in Patras has started the methadone treatment of the first nine addicted prisoners. It is taking place within the first comprehensive programme of the Organisation against Drugs (OKANA) to overcome addictions by providing substitutes, signed by the Minister of Justice and the Deputy Minister of Health.

As stated by Minister of Justice Haralambos Athanasiou, this is the first such unit created in one of the prisons of the country.

Minister Haralambos Athanasiou

"Greece is aligned with the most developed countries of the European Union, which have substitution programmes in prisons and is harmonized with the modern scientific achievements in this field", the Minister added.

A noteworthy fact is that the first nine addicts are already undergoing the toxicology and all other necessary medical tests.

The programme

When fully developed, the programme will provide treatment for 150 prisoners as well as psychological and social support for the participants as, in addition to the qualified medical staff, it involves two psychologists and one social worker.

The creation of the medical unit meets the real needs of the detainees, as nearly 4,000 prisoners in the Greek prisons are offenders of the law on drugs and the majority of them are drug addicts.

The two ministries and the Organisation against Drugs are planning to launch a similar unit in Korydallos prison too.

In a statement, chief secretary for penal policy of the Ministry of Justice Marinos Skandamis stressed that this pilot programme reflects the philosophy of the recently adopted law on the substances that cause addictions, which focuses on combating drug addiction through the treatment of addicts rather than through their continued isolation in different institutions.

"The Ministry expresses gratitude to the Organisation against Drugs for this unprecedented initiative. We hope that it will lead to significant results that will be used in favour of the prisoners in other prisons in Greece," added Marinos Skandamis.

Tags: Programme Drug addictsPrisonTreatmentMethadone
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