A group known as OKANA, the Greek Organization Against Drugs, has played a large role in setting the foundation for the pilot methadone maintenance treatment prison program in Agios Stefanos Prison. Run by a seven member administrative board, OKANA has been operational since 1995, and functions as "a legal person that is governed by private law and reports to the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity." The organization has the following purposes:
- "Plan, promote, coordinate and implement a national policy on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts."
- "Address the drug problem at a national level, provide valid and documented information, and raise public awareness."
- "Establish and effectively manage prevention centres, treatment units and social and professional reintegration centres."
Currently, nine prisoners struggling with opiate addiction have begun undergoing all of the necessary medical evaluations and toxicology testing required in order to participate in the program. There is also plans to open a similar methadone maintenance treatment program and related services in Greece's infamous Korydallos Prison.
Marinos Skandamis, Chief Secretary for Penal Policy of the Ministry of Justice has high hopes for the program, and shared words of appreciation for the work accomplished by OKANA.
"The Ministry expresses gratitude to the Organization against Drugs for this unprecedented initiative. We hope that it will lead to significant results that will be used in favour of the prisoners in other prisons in Greece".