articles | 01 August 2022

Cyprus Addiction prevention strategy to protect children and youths

Drug abuse and addiction are high on the government’s list of priorities said Deputy Minister of Social Welfare Anastasia Anthousi, following Monday’s signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the ministry and the National Addictions Authority.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Anthousi said the proper handling and prevention of addictive behaviour required coordinated efforts by the National Addiction Authority and social partners, such as NGOs and voluntary organisations.

“Through the memorandum of cooperation, we are strengthening our synergies in areas related to minors with behaviour disorder problems, substance abusers, those released from prison with substance abuse problems, and children and youths belonging to vulnerable groups,” Anthousi said. The problem of addiction was multi-faceted and therefore needed to be tackled in a comprehensive way.

The memorandum provides for the setting up of hostels and the establishment of intensive daily monitoring programmes. Additionally, it envisages the establishment of a protocol to identify at-risk minors, such as those exhibiting symptoms of behaviour disorder, and referring them from social welfare services to Okypy mental health services for assessment.

A programme connecting people released from prison that faced addiction problems with support services is envisaged as are preventive programmes for minors and youths belonging to vulnerable groups being served by the services of the deputy ministry. Staff at the deputy ministry will receive regular training on issues of addiction by the authority.

Anthousis emphasised that the priority was timely initiatives targeting children who live in vulnerable family environments with high levels of parental conflict, loose family relationships and boundaries, or parents with substance abuse problems. According to studies, these children are at increased risk of developing addictions.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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