Additionally, those who are working have been undergoing salary reduction from 2009 which amounts to about – 30%. As part of combating the ongoing crisis, the government reduced its expenditure on public health below 6% of its GDP (3% lower than the OECD’s recommended 9%. To make matters worse, the government slashed the expenditure on social programs and welfare by 40%2. Collectively, these matters exposed the dwellers of Greece to multiple problems such as poor access to healthcare and the now roaring drug consumption problem.According to a survey by the University Mental Health Research Institute, drug consumption in Greece has been on the increase. Cannabis is one of the most abused drugs in Greece, with about 8.6% of persons aged 12 to 64 years reported to be on lifetime use of the same3. Of all the persons aged 15 to 34 years, 10.8% reported lifetime prevalence of Cannabis. In 2003, 6% of high school students had tried Cannabis, in 2007; the number was the same, but as at 2011, 8% reported to have tried it. Opiate users mostly on Heroin use increased to 2.86 users per 1,000 people between 2009 and 2012. Similarly, injection drug users (IDUs) increased in the same period to about 1.07 users per 1,000 people4. HIV infections have also indicated an increase in drug consumers in that as from 2012, HIV infections increased significantly amongst IDUs even as other European Union nations experienced a decrease in the same. In addition, the increase in drug use and is said to have a character, meaning that it is restricted to one part of Greece, and that is its capital Athens5. As these findings show, before the crisis set in around 2009, drug abuse was under control but as is evident from 2012 onwards, more persons have been taking to the act.According to Gray6, the economic crisis that pushed the government into slashing its expenditure on “the safety net” has led to an increase in the number of addicts. When the crisis hit, the first effect felt was in employment as more people lost their jobs or had their salaries reduced. This occurrence which mostly affected young people pushed millions of them into drug use as a means of escaping reality. Having no jobs to do makes them turn to drug use either as resellers or consumers. Either way, they end up in the same net of addictions.What this means in short is that the economic crisis has affected drug addicts by creating more of them through lack
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