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The majority of people who die of an overdose die because they’re using alone at home. The Drop-in Centre “TARGET” in Cypus reacted to the confinement measures by training people who use drugs and their peers on how to administer naloxone – a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The low threshold and harm reduction centre TARGET registered a small increase of the number of new clients during the COVID-19 crisis. Service users visited the centre more often. Before the crisis, service users would visit twice or three times a week- during the restrictions they would visit it daily amd often twice: in the mornings and again in the afternoon. With the help of the Municipality the centre offered free daily food supplies, Covid- 19 guidelines and disposable gloves and masks for their health and safety. Service users were offered naloxone training and were provided with take-home naloxone. In addition, the support and information hotline received more phone calls than usual.

TARGET is an innovative cooperation of the Nursing Services Ministry of Health and the Cyprus Anti-Drug Association in the context of Public Health provision and the broader strategy to support capacity building for volunteering and Non-Governmental Organisations, a strategy of the Ministry of Health that resides under Good Governance Policy. 

Initiated in October 2013 its actions aim to fill a significant gap in the range of services offered for the treatment of Drug Addiction. It is the only “direct access” (Drop-in) and harm reduction program in Cyprus and is approved by the National Drug Addiction Authority. It contributes to a multidimensional field in Drug Addiction ranging from measures to protect vulnerable populations with difficulties in accessing health services to measures of broader beneficial public health interventions to society as a whole. By "direct access" we mean a free access center or services that anyone can access for free, without any pre-arranged appointments and registration procedures. By "harm reduction" we mean a set of measures and interventions whose main purpose is to reduce the abuse of substances linked to personal and social harm.

"TARGET" center is active with the following Public Health interventions:

• Day care Services / interventions
• HIV/Hepatitis Rapid Testing 
• Syringe exchange services /operation of vending machine.
• Indicative High Risk Area Interventions/ "Street Work"
• Mobile Harm Reduction Unit 
• Harm reduction program for cannabis use
• Interventions to immigrant populations
• Hotline Services 1402

Contact:

This article was submitted through the National Addictions Authority of Cyprus.

Telephone numbers 22460077
Hotline Services 1402

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