Teenage Health

Advice about alcohol, drugs and smoking in Greece as well as information about the Greek attitude to teenagers’ sexual health and pregnancy...

Teenagers and alcohol

The legal age for purchasing alcohol is 18, though in practice, teenagers have little problem obtaining alcohol. In Greece there is a Mediterranean attitude to alcohol, with drinking being a social activity done with friends. Many teenagers drink wine with their parents at the dinner table from a relatively young age. The relaxed attitude about alcohol in Greece makes it difficult to say with certainty how large the problem of teenage drinking is. Though the attitude regarding drinking is relatively relaxed, it is not socially acceptable to be visibly drunk in public. Schools do not provide information about the dangers of drinking.

Alcoholics Anonymous in Greece has a website with information on AA Greece and local meetings in English.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    At
    : Zinonos street 4, 104 37 Athens
    Tel: 210 522 0416
  • For information on English-speaking meetings: Click here

Teenagers and drugs

There are severe penalties for possessing illegal drugs in Greece, and even small amounts can lead to prison sentences. Marijuana is common and Greece's location as a gateway to Europe means that heavier drugs are also available. While smoking marijuana is not uncommon among young people and young adults, other drug use is more rare. Compared to other European countries, figures show comparatively few teenagers are addicted to drugs. There is little to no education regarding the dangers of drug use in schools or by the government.

Narcotics Anonymous holds local weekly open and closed meetings in Greece. Most of the meetings take place in Greek, however, there are some foreign language meetings, including English meetings in Athens.

  • For a list of NA meetings: Click here
  • For information or help Tel: 210 347 4777 between 18:30 and 20:00

OKANA is an organisation for drug addicts and their families. The website has information on recovery programmes and treatments in Greece.

  • Okana
    At
    : Averof street 21, 104 33 Athens
    email

Teenagers and smoking

Many Greeks begin smoking as teenagers. Although attitudes are changing, smoking is considered a social activity, along with drinking coffee, and there may exist peer pressure for teenagers to start smoking. There is little information provided by schools on the dangers of tobacco.

Teenage pregnancy

Teenage pregnancies and teenage abortions have been on the increase in recent years. Information about contraception is not readily available to teenagers or to the public in general.

There is very little sexual education within schools and there are very few places where teenagers can get information regarding sexual issues. As a result, teenagers in Greece tend to be less knowledgeable about sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies than teens in other European countries.

An abortion in Greece is available on request and permitted until up to week 12 of the pregnancy except in exceptional circumstances. Written consent is required by the parents or the guardian of a minor. Many abortions are carried out in the private healthcare sector as there are often delays within the public sector. The morning-after pill (called Norlevo) is available from pharmacies in Greece without a prescription. Proof of age is not required.

The Family Planning Association of Greece can provide information and advice to teenagers regarding contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

  • FPAG
    At
    : Alkaiou street 10, 115 28 Athens
    Tel: 210 728 6332
    email

Helplines

Emergency social and psychological support
(English spoken)
Tel: 197
Alcoholics Anonymous Tel: 210 522 0416
Website
Narcotics Anonymous Tel: 210 347 4777 (18:30-20:00)
Website