In Cyprus since 2004, 165 deaths from drug overdose have been recorded

Since 2004, 165 deaths due to drug overdose have been recorded in Cyprus

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Since 2004, 165 deaths have been recorded in Cyprus which were due to an overdose of substances, while in 2022 there were 5 deaths, which for the first time were not due to the use of opioids but to the use of stimulants, according to the data of the Monitoring Department of the Addiction Treatment Authority Cyprus AAEK/ EKTEPN.

In a statement from the Authority, it is stated that today Thursday, AAEK, in collaboration with the Municipality of Nicosia, will symbolically light up Freedom Square with the color lilac, in the framework of International Drug Overdose Awareness Day, as a small tribute to our fellow human beings have died of drug overdoses and in recognition of the pain their families and friends are experiencing. At the same time, operators of the mobile damage reduction unit "CareZone" and AAEK will be in Eleftheria Square between 18:30 and 21:30 to inform the public about the issue.

"In Cyprus, according to the data of the AAEK/EKTEPN Monitoring Department, since 2004, when the index began to be recorded, 165 deaths have been recorded due to drug overdose. In 2022, there were 5 deaths, which for the first time were not due to the use of opioids, but all were due to the use of stimulants,” it noted.

According to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA, 2023), it is estimated that in 2021 there were at least 6.166 drug overdose deaths in the EU, most of which are related to multiple substance use, which is usually associated with the combination of illegal opioids, other illegal addictive substances, drugs and alcohol.

The theme of this year's International Overdose Awareness Day is "Recognizing the people who go unnoticed".

AAEK, it says, "seeks to create a society that better understands the importance of substance overdose, particularly around key risk factors, such as the combination of substance use with alcohol and/or benzodiazepines."

"To this end, AAEK promotes measures to prevent deaths related to substance use, focusing on the inclusion and retention of opioid users in substitution treatment, the expansion of harm reduction interventions throughout Cyprus and the provision of material harm reduction through vending machines in all Provinces while working to ensure the availability of naloxone, which acts as an opioid antagonist, and to provide education, both to frontline professionals and to opioid users and their families on its proper use", the announcement concludes.

Source: KYPE