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Drug treatment overview for Cyprus

Map of Cyprus

1. National context

The CAC is the supreme national body responsible for drafting, coordination and monitoring implementation of the National Drug Strategy. The CAC is also responsible for coordinating governmental and non-governmental drug care services. Drug treatment is mainly delivered by non-governmental organisations, which are independent but must be licensed by the CAC to operate. In 2013, for example, the CAC issued licences to 20 treatment units, but only 17 units were in line with the Treatment Demand Indicator protocol.

According to the CAC, the treatment system consists of counselling, rehabilitation, detoxification and substitution centres. All counselling, outpatient and inpatient programmes use psychosocial interventions as their primary treatment tool. Counselling centres mainly focus on motivational enhancement and support, whereas inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programmes, including a therapeutic community, focus on individual and group counselling, therapy and psychotherapy and social reintegration. Most programmes provide services to drug users regardless of the substance being used. In 2013 there were 14 psychosocial outpatient counselling centres (including two targeting adolescents and young adults), three inpatient psychosocial services, a therapeutic community, a drug-free inpatient treatment programme and a governmental service for alcohol and legal drug dependency. Although current additions to the treatment system have enriched it considerably, a lack of specialised treatment services for drugs other than heroin is observed. There are special programmes for ethnic minorities, such as Pontian Greeks, in Paphos. Drug treatment may also be provided by general practitioners; however, their involvement in service delivery is unknown.

Opioid substitution treatment (OST) was introduced in Cyprus in 2007. It is offered by two specialised public drug treatment units, a public hospital and a private clinic. The substances currently used are dihydrocodeine, buprenorphine-based medication and methadone (only for detoxification purposes). In 2013 OST was offered to 180 clients, and around 32.1 % of them received buprenorphine-based OST. It should be noted that foreign nationals (primarily from Greece) account for one-third of all OST clients.

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2. Treatment registries and monitoring systems

There is one general monitoring system for treatment, based on the Treatment Demand Indicator (TDI) and operated by the Cyprus National Focal Point, but there are no separate monitoring systems for medically-assisted or drug-free treatment. 

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3. Treatment demand

Table 1: Number of clients entering treatment in Cyprus by year
Clients in treatment 2010 2011 2012 2013
Number of all clients entering treatment 767 995 999 1023
Number of all clients entering treatment with known primary drug 764 994 998 1019
% of which for opioid use 47.5 36.7 28 26.5
% of which for cocaine use 10.5 10.1 12 12.2
% of which for cannabis use 38.6 48.8 53 56.8
% of which for stimulants use (other than cocaine) 0.4 0.5 0 2.6
Number of new clients entering treatment 340 444 488 486
Number of new clients entering treatment with known primary drug 338 443 487 482
% of which for opioid use 21.6 10.8 8 7.7
% of which for cocaine use 10.7 7.0 6 9.3
% of which for cannabis use 63.3 78.1 82 80.5
% of which for stimulants use (other than cocaine) 0.9 0.4 0 1.7
Notes:
The variation across time, in particular with regard to the absolute numbers of clients in treatment, should be interpreted with caution as coverage data may have changed over time. For further information on coverage details please refer to the relevant EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
Sources:

Reitox national reports 2014 and TDI tables.
EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2015.

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4. Treatment provision

Table 2: Opioid substitution treatment provision in Cyprus
Opioid substitution treatment 2010 2011 2012 2013
Number of clients in opioid substitution treatment 294 188 239 180
of which with methadone 0 0 38 25
of which with buprenorphine 111 83 84 72
Notes:
For a detailed European overview please see the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2015 (HSR section) .
‘N. App.’ stands for ‘Not applicable’.
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
Sources:
Standard Table 24 (ST24) on 'Treatment availability' submitted in 2014.
Table 3: Year of official introduction of opioid substitution treatment substances in Cyprus
Applied substances in opioid substitution treatment Officially introduced in
Methadone (MMT) N.Av.
Buprenorphine (HDBT) 2007
Heroin assisted treatment,including as trials N.App.
Slow-release morphine N.App.
Buprenorphine/naloxone combination 2008
Notes:
For a detailed European overview please see the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2015 (HSR section) ..
‘N. App.’ stands for ‘Not applicable’.  ‘N. Av.’ stands for ‘No information available’.
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
Sources:
Reitox national reports.
Table 4: Legal framework of opioid substitution treatment in Cyprus
Legal framework of opioid substitution treatment Methadone Buprenorphine
Do office-based medical doctors have the right to initiate the prescription of substitution treatment? N.App. Yes
Do specialised medical doctors have the right to initiate the prescription of substitution treatment? N.App. N.App.

Notes:
For a detailed European overview please see the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin 2015 (HSR section) .
For an explanation of terms used, see the definitions of terms.
'Specialised medical doctors' refers to specifically trained or accredited office-based medical doctors.
Sources:
Structured Questionnaire on 'Treatment programmes'(SQ27P1), submitted in 2014.

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5. References and links

Related EMCDDA resources

 

Treatment research centres (external links)

Please note that the EMCDDA is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Treatment inventories

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About the EMCDDA

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

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Page last updated: Friday, 22 May 2015