Initiative to re-open the supervised Drug Consumption Centre ODYSSEAS in Athens

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The Greek Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Grigorakos has proposed to regulate by law the establishment of supervised drug consumption rooms as part of the harm reduction policy for drug dependent people. The organisations Positive Voice, Praksis, Diogenis, Promitheas, Centre for Life and the Greek Drug and Substitute Users Union issued on the occasion of this decision the following statement.

” Τhe undersigned NGOs declare our support for the urgently needed legislation to promote the establishment and operation of units for intravenous drug users. The proposal includes the possibility to set up and make operational supervised drug consumption rooms for the protection of the health of active users, the early intervention to prevent overdose and the support to follow therapeutic treatment and harm reduction programs. The licence will be issued by decision of the Minister of Health, including the specific terms and conditions of the establishment and operation of the supervised sites..

This proposal is the framework in which the issue of the operation of the supervised drug consumption room “Odysseas” can be resolved. The undersigned organizations have strongly protested to the authorities when the operation of the supervised drug consumption room “Odysseas” has been suspended. We believe that with the proposed bill, the Greek state answers adequately to the needs of dependent users, the request of agencies and organizations providing services to drug dependent people and the wish of the municipality of Athens. All relevant stakeholders must co-operate to address the problem of drug use in the streets. The Municipality of Athens must provide places for the establishment of drug consumptions rooms and contribute to the health of users and the public safety. We hope that with the adoption of this law the drug consumption site “Odysseas” will be re-opened”

The proposed bill has to be adopted by the Greek Parliament.