|  Login



The Prevention Centre for Addiction and Promotion of Psycho-social Health was founded in 1998, by the Municipality of Athens, the National Organization Against Drugs, the Medical Association of Athens, the Attica Dental Association, the Athens Bar Association and the Hellenic Centre for Intercultural Psychiatry and Care and is a non-profit organization. It is financed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, through the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDE), and the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity, through the Organization Against Drugs (OKANA). It is administratively supervised by the Board of Directors and the trustees and scientifically by OKANA.

A number of social scientists, like psychologists, sociologists, social anthropologists, educators and psychiatrists, conduct prevention programmes in the community. Such programmes are directed towards teachers, parents, students, health organizations and other services, social scientists and health professionals, drug abusers and their families and the general population. All services are provided free of charge. The Prevention Program of the Prevention Centre for Addictions and Psychosocial Health “Athina Ygeia” in the Area of Athens takes into account the European Drug Policy (2007 – 2013) and the National Policy, as well as the social changes that directly affect the drug abuse. The aim of the program is to empower people and reduce the factors that lead to drug abuse or other addictions.

The basic principle of the Prevention Centre is to involve, not only the public services and the social scientists, but to involve and motivate all kinds of organizations and the citizens themselves to take action. The philosophy of the program is based on the principle that information and knowledge is necessary to form judging criteria, but it’s not enough to change social attitudes and behaviours. The needs, the emotions, the social-sentimental education are also very important for the change of attitudes, values and behaviours.

More specifically, the Centre’s activities involve:

  • Informing the general population about the risks of legal and illegal substance abuse, uncontrolled internet use, and other medical and social issues
  • Involving citizens and other services about the promotion of a healthier way of life
  • Networking of the relevant services for common action, exchange of experience and knowledge and working together to resolve temporary social problems
  • Preventing drug abuse in the school communityInforming teachers about prevention issues and educating them in conducting prevention programs
  • Educating health professional and social scientists in drug abuse issues
  • Informing and supporting parents about issues related to their family
  • Providing support to individuals and families who ask for help
  • Informing drug abusers and their families about treatment programs
  • Working in the community for the integration of different cultural minorities
  • Co-operation with other European cities for exchange of experience on prevention issues (e.g. Amsterdam)
The prevention activities focus on specific target groups, but they also adopt the most current methodology and approaches. The core of the program is education in social skills, improvement of alternative activities and information – education. The chosen target groups are either considered vulnerable to risk factors and more likely to turn to substance abuse, or are those who conform attitudes and behaviours to other target groups, and, therefore, are “used” to spread the message. Thus, the intervention of the Prevention Centre to the local community has many levels and the methodology contributes to active participation within the members of the target group. 

The way the program is run, the tools, the methodology and the length varies depend on the needs of each target group. The general goals of the program, as mentioned above, are to reduce the factors that lead to drug abuse or to other addictions and the promotion of a healthy way of life.

The method used in the majority of the interventions is the experiential-active method, as, through the active participation and action of the target group throughout the program, a different way of life is promoted, including self-action, taking personal responsibility, dealing with difficulties in life, decision making and solving social and personal problems in general.

More specifically, when working with students, some of the topics are:

  • Empowering self-esteem
  • People I love – my family
  • Similarities and differences among people
  • Friendship
  • Recognizing and expressing our emotions
  • Resolving disagreements
  • Learning how to communicate effectivelyLearning to negotiate
  • Caring about my body – my health
  • Keeping myself safe
  • Making decision
  • Confidence and determination
  • Resistance to peer pressure
  • Similarities and differences among people
  • Feeling stressed
  • Our parents, other adults, our society

For teachers, some of the main topics are:
  • Myself – a unique person
  • Learning how to communicate effectively
  • Recognizing and expressing our emotions
  • Personal identity and self esteem
And for parents:  
  • Effective communication among family members
  • Limits and punishment
  • Resolving disagreements
  • Violence and aggressive behavior in school and family
  • Safe use of internet
  • Dealing with teenagers Alcohol and drug abuse