Loneliness and its ‘evil twin’ depression were the two main causes that drove people to drugs, especially young people, while social cohesion was the main tool for defending against them, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Monday.
He was speaking at an event on “The contribution of Social Cohesion and Solidarity to Preventing Drug Use” held in the Old Parliament to mark International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
The causes for the current “epidemic” of loneliness and depression in the world were many, Pavlopoulos said, and involved every form of social inequality that drove “mainly the young to a corrosive, multi-aspected marginalisation that opens wide the doors to the scourge of drugs.”
It was therefore clear, he continued, that the most effective “antidote” to this plague was to defend social cohesion, while expressing his conviction that Greek society can be resistant to the problem by strengthening its cohesion and through expressions of solidarity toward potential victims.
Greece’s national coordinator against drugs Dr. Christina Papoutsopoulou-Diamantopoulou highlighted the scale of the problem worldwide, noting that the turnover from drug sales exceeded 700 billion dollars in 2016 and was the second-largest black money market worldwide.
She noted that the economic crisis in Greece had increased social inequality and dysfunctionality, neither of which favoured a reduction in drug use, while the latest figures showed that use of illegal substances started at ever younger ages and access to drugs had become easier, while cannabis use was constantly increasing.