In times of prolonged socio economic crisis one of the fields that suffers most is that of drug addiction research and treatment. In a country where unemployment rises up the need for research in the changing patterns of drug use and the increase of alcohol consumption should be a priority. Even though, alcohol industry for example reported a decrease by 46% in alcohol retails a significant increase in illegal alcohol sales was also noted in the absence of alcohol treatment services.
Together with alcohol increase, illegal gambling also increased as the reports from the only helpline in Greece run by KETHEA Alpha could confirm. The Helpline received more than 2500 calls within two years. Even before crisis, drug treatment and research did not receive adequate attention. In crisis times research goes on thanks to the efforts of scientists and professionals in the field whom based on their own means strive to find answers in questions relevant to their field of practice.
It is therefore worth noting that the present issue is devoted to a number of papers produced by Greek researchers that are concerned with the effectiveness of treatment and the drug users’ changing profiles.
Cocaine drug users’ satisfaction from treatment is a significant factor for treatment retention. The comparison between alcohol and cocaine users with the general population in relation to interpersonal relationships is also important for improving treatment intervention. Profile of gamblers in Greece and the links between gambling and alexithymia are also significant questions that require answers. The studies presented at the current issue took place in Greek treatment facilities and reveal significant issues that concern drug users and professionals in the field today.
The results from the study run by Trova, Paparigopoulou, Tzavella, Liappa and Tzinieri-Kokkosi confirm that drug users’ exhibit to a greater than the general population overt-bevaviors that are linked with stress and avoidance mechanisms. Their results are significant for understanding the causes of addiction in relation to psychosocial problems in infancy and early childhood. Failure to develop a healthy bonding with the mother suggests problems in inter-personal adult relationships. These findings are important for treatment intervention. The results from Stagakis’ research also suggest that treatment intervention at the penal system and networking between organizations for facing the multi-faceted needs of the population in order to break the cycle of drug use and crime is important. Following the Hermeneutics Phenomenological Approach, Korkotselos and Chaidemenaki, try to understand drug users in treatment satisfaction form the treatment setting. Their effort is important for service development and quality improvement. The study of Anastasopoulou, Alexopoulou and Pariou in relation to the profile of gamblers seeking counseling has also special value for the evidence that go hand in hand with the international bibliography and reveal the unique problems of the gambling population as opposed to the drug using population.
Taking into consideration the lack of funding in the field of drug addiction, it is worth noting the efforts and the commitment of scientists and practitioners to carry out quality research under contradictory circumstances. Their work is a source of motivation for your scientists and one of the few means for fighting prejudice and promoting scientific knowledge.