Impact of drug distribution and use

AuthorChryso Pelekani, Loizos Symeou
Definition of the problem
Cyprus has had a national strategy against drug dependence since 2004.28 The main axes
of the strategy are reducing demand and supply, and providing programmes for the
rehabilitation and social reintegration of drug users, particularly among members of
vulnerable groups.
In recent years, the non-implementation of this strategy has created serious problems and
shortfalls in addressing the public health problems caused by drug dissemination and
use.29 An investigation has found that in Cyprus the drug most in demand is cannabis,
with 4.3 per cent of the population declaring themselves to be users, while cocaine,
amphetamines, and MDMA (Ecstasy) all had declared rates of below one per cent.30 In
recent years, early interv ention program mes have aimed to develop recovery among
young users.
A responsible officer of the RoC Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU) said to the authors of
this report: ΟIn terms of vulnerable groups, these cases are recorded by the Cyprus
National Addiction Authority.31 They are children from single-parent families, children from
families where either the mother or the father is in prison, children who are not privileged
in society and whose families receive aid from social services, etc.Π (Interviewee 9).
In Cyprus, drugs are classified as A, B or C according to their level of harm, with Class A
drugs causing the most harm. Penalties for drug use in Cyprus extend to life imprisonment
for all classes of drugs, but a life term has never been imposed. Possession for personal
use is regarded as a serious criminal offence, punishable by up to 12 years in priso n for
Class A drugs, eight years for Class B and four years for Class C. However, first -time
offenders under 25 are not given sentences of more than a year.
In 2016, a law was introduced allowing those accused of drug-related offences other than
supply and serious felonies to apply for a treatment alternative to imprisonment.32 In
recent years there has been a tendency towards the use of this alternative punishment. A
judge, following the advice of the Advisory Committee established by law, has the option
of either ordering a defendant to undergo treatment in a rehabilitation centre or serve a
penalty.33 In the pre-trial phase there is an alternative t o prosecution for juvenile drug
offenders arreste d for the first time and a protocol for referring them to mental health
services. Our informant explained that Οyoung drug users who meet certain criteria, they
28 The first National Drugs Strategy 2004-2008 was the first project in Cyprus aiming in developing a
holistic policy for drug dependence. Available at:
sinergates/bc3e3f845c.pdf (Retrieved on 5 December 2019)
29 Ministry of Health, Archived Speeches, Implementation of Government Policy to prevent the use and
dissemination of drugs. Available at: Retrieved
on 5 December 2019)
30 , M. (2018) infographic:          .
(infographic: The drugs in Cyprus map and death loads.) Available at: (Retrieved on December 5, 2019
31 The Cyprus Anti-Drugs Council renamed as Cyprus National Addiction Authority. The Authority that
coordinates and controls all the measures and interventions aimed at addressing dependencies. Available at:
32 Cyprus, Country Drug Report 2019, available at:
reports/2019/cyprus/drug-laws-and-drug-law-offences_en (Retrieved on 5 December 2019)
33 More information can be found on the Cyprus National Addictions Authority website. Available at:

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT