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A 22-YEAR-old heroin user from Limassol was found dead in the early hours of yesterday, after taking a lethal dose of the illegal drug, police said yesterday.

“The incidents of death from drug use have increased, which worries police,” said Andreas Angelides, Limassol Police Press Officer.

The man was found unconscious in his bedroom, in the house he shared with his mother and brother in the Ayios Antonios area of Limassol. His family had not seen the 22-year-old for many hours and so at dawn on Monday his brother went into his bedroom to look for him. He found the 22-year-old lying on the bed unconscious, next to a used syringe and a spoon with traces of heroin.

The man was taken to Limassol General Hospital, where his death was confirmed. The exact causes of his death will be determined in an autopsy scheduled for today.

The 22-year-old had started using drugs as a teenager and had checked into rehab centres in the past, with no success. “The young man had been the subject of investigations of the Drug Prevention Unit (YKAN) in the past, due to his involvement with drugs,” Angelides said.

“It is very sad to lose a young man at the age of 22. We are trying to make young people aware of the consequences of drug use,” he added.

“Such incidents are always distressing, particularly as the young man had tried to get help in the past, but failed to get over his addiction,” said Nicole Yiannaki, Direct Helpline Operator at Odysseas, a Drug Addiction Advisory Centre.

“In most cases, the success of rehabilitation depends on two main factors: the person seeking help must have made a personal decision and must have the support of his family and environment,” Yiannaki explained.

The Odysseas Advisory Centre is part of Kenthea, which runs various programmes for prevention and education, as well as the rehabilitation and support of addicts. Odysseas is a ‘transit point’ between addiction and rehab.

“People come here for information and advice once they have made the decision to undergo rehabilitation. We help to cement that decision and explain what their options are; patients can choose to undergo rehabilitation here, at Tolmi which is operated by Kenthea, or abroad,” Yiannaki said.



The Odysseas Advisory Centre is based in Limassol and operates a direct help line at 99-403606. Kenthea also operates help lines throughout the island: Vera Paisi at Pafos (99-405111), Pegasos in Nicosia (99-835607), Ithaki at Idalion (99-913591) and Fos at Kokkinotrimithia (99-137647).

By Anna Hassapi, Cyprus Mail 2008|||22-year-old dies of heroin overdose
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