Russian youth spend USD 2.5 billion on drugs every year

The annual turnover of drugs in Russia is estimated at USD 5 billion. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by President of the Russian Association for the Prevention of Drug-Trafficking Alexander Kolmarogov today. He said that half this sum is 'spent by adolescents on drugs.' He added that drug-traffickers in Russia enjoy a profit margin of over 500%.

Mr Kolmagorov said that over the last twelve years Russians 'have not only begun to consume large quantities of drugs but they have become one of the leading drug producers in the world. What makes things worse is that the drug-traffickers provide financial support to international terrorist organisations,' he said. In order to confront this problem, he stressed, it is essential to unite the efforts of security forces and civilian organisations as well as those 'willing to offer their help. Moreover, we should not only concentrate on preventing drug-trafficking but also on reducing the demand for drugs among young people,' Mr Kolmagorov emphasised. 'Today is the international day for the prevention of drugs and various meetings are taking place in Moscow for this reason. We want the Youth against drugs movement to gain national recognition.

According to Alexander Davydor, a member of the Federation Council, about 3-3.5 million Russians take drugs and these people are mainly between the ages of 17 and 30. The use of drugs is most widespread in the Tiumen Region where more than 50 thousand drug addicts have been officially registered. The number of drug-related crimes has also risen sharply according to Mr Davydor. The number of drug-related crimes in 2002 was 80 times higher than the figures for the early nineties.

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