Illicit Substances


Addiction prevention relates to interventions aimed at identifying, limiting and eliminating the causes that contribute to licit and illicit addictive substances use and dependency, as well as other addictive behaviours. For the prevention guide click here and for the informational leaflets on prevention click here.

You can also view the sponsored and approved prevention programs for 2019 by clicking the link.

Prevention programs seek to:

  • Empower people who do not use addictive substances, so as they won’t try them,
  • Help those who have tried addictive substances (for the first time or occasionally use) to stop using and not to repeat it,
  • Prevent starting or becoming dependent on other behaviours, such as gambling or internet addiction.

Prevention of the use of addictive substances can be classified by different levels or strategies, from universal prevention aimed at society as a whole (environmental prevention) to prevention-focused on high-risk individuals (suggested prevention). The most important challenge for prevention policies is to combine the different levels of prevention with the degree of vulnerability of each target group (Derzon, 2007) and to ensure proper scientific documentation of interventions as well as adequate population coverage


The goal of the treatment is to overcome the addiction, improve the quality of life, fully restore, as well as reintegrate the individual into normal social and economic life within the community.

Effective treatment of addiction can take many forms and include individual services, all aimed at addressing addiction and restoring the individual, as well as reducing its harmful effects on the individual and the community as a whole.

The concept of the standard treatment approach, analogous to that of the typical user, does not exist in the treatment of dependence on addictive substances. There is no single type of treatment that works for everyone - there is no magic solution.

Some users seek treatment upon deciding to abstain immediately and completely, while for others, the treatment path follows more gradual approaches.

Depending on individual needs, the treatment system responds with more treatment options, which are all safe, effective, comprehensive and, most importantly, viable for the patient and his/her family.

For the Guide on Treatment 2019, follow this link.

Social Reintegration

The Cyprus National Addictions Authority (NAAC), in the context of monitoring the National Strategy on Illicit Substances and the Harmful Use of Alcohol 2013-2020, promotes interventions that support the process of social reintegration of persons with history of dependence.

During the difficult times that our country is going through, the needs of these people are particularly increased, due to the difficulty in finding a job, which hinders their smooth reintegration into society. 

Harm reduction

Harm reduction includes coordinated interventions aimed at minimizing the harmful effects of addictive substances use, such as infectious diseases and deaths. Harm reduction interventions do not necessarily aim to stop use. The main interventions are: opioid substitution therapy, needle and syringe exchange programs, naloxone administration for the prevention of deaths due to overdose, off-site and "on the road" interventions, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions and infectious diseases, as well as information and education on safer use.

Harm reduction and prevention of the harmful effects of the use of addictive substances is an important public health objective and is one of the goals of the National Strategy.

Supply reduction

The overall goal of the Supply Regulation and Control Pillar, in the field of illicit substances, concerns the taking of measures and actions aimed at reducing the supply, in relation to the whole range of trafficking, availability and purchase of illicit drugs, the crime related to illicit addictive substances, as well as the effective control of the new synthetic psychotropic substances that arise, through legislation and other mechanisms.

Alcohol consumption is a socially acceptable behaviour, associated with entertainment and fun. However, excessive alcohol use has been shown to pose significant risks to the health of the individual and/or his/her environment. The National Strategy on Illicit Substances Dependence and the Harmful Use of Alcohol 2013-2020 addresses the issue of alcohol, through a scope that includes objectives related to reducing the availability and accessibility of alcohol to vulnerable groups or high-risk groups, by ensuring the implementation of legislative measures.

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