Ecstasy and cannabis use on the rise

RECENT studies by the Cyprus National Monitoring Centre for drugs and drug addiction (EKTEPN) have revealed that the drug problem in Cyprus is rising and at a worrying rate.

During a press conference yesterday, which was made in the absence of the Foundation President, former Minister of Health Dina Akkelidou, results were projected showing a steady rise of drug use throughout the island since 1999. Particularly high were the results shown for ecstasy and cannabis use, with cannabis use revealed to be used in Cyprus at an alarming rate.

EKTEPN official Neoclis Georgiades said 0.3 per cent of 14-15 year olds were using ecstasy in 1999 and that has now increased to 4 per cent. Other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and marijuana had also increased but slight in comparison to ecstasy and cannabis.

Also on show were graphs indicating the origin of most drugs on the island with the largest number of all cases arriving from the north. Georgiades went on to say that although there were larger numbers of clinics and counselling departments for addicts in the areas of Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca, Paphos was still behind with just one counselling department for the whole district.

Georgiades also thanked former Minister of Health Dina Akkelidou, who resigned from her official positions last Friday.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank the person, co-worker as well as good friend Dina Akkelidou who has shown incredible passion in this foundation. I honestly believe that if she hadn’t had so many personal problems we would not have as many problems to talk about.

“I would like to thank her because she was an outstanding co-worker and would like to wish her every happiness in the future.”