The mandate of the Anti-Drugs Council has been expanded to cover not only matters related to illegal and prescription drugs and alcohol but to take on all dependencies including gambling.
The change to the organisation’s mandate was passed by the House last Friday but it effectively alters the nature of the body and its current responsibilities without changing its charter as a public law entity.
The amendment was first tabled in 2014 by a former MP from Akel but then it was embraced by other political parties.
The council is now mandated to deal with all dependencies for both prevention and treatments. The name was also changed to the Cyprus Authority for Addiction Prevention.
The change was also to bring Cyprus more in line with other European countries by promoting a more comprehensive tackling of addiction.
It also modernises anachronistic concepts, terms and interpretations of the current legal framework governing addiction in order to keep up with current scientific data.
The law also provides that no person or state body, or the private sector will apply any measure or intervention without the authorisation of the authority.
However, as regards gambling – Cyprus is in the process of creating its first casinos – the National Betting Authority and the National Casino and Gaming Authority will be exempt from this obligation.