Number of drug addicts in Russia has increased ninefold over last four years

According to the Russian State Committee on Drugs Control, there are currently 4 million Russians who regularly take drugs although only 500 thousand are officially registered. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Deputy Committee Chairman Alexander Mikhailov at a press conference recently after an anti-drugs rally entitled Choose your path - choose life which was aimed at youngsters. He said that the 14-30 age group is most at risk. 'There have even been instances of six-year-olds taking drugs,' Mr Mikhailov said.

However, only 10-15% of illegal drugs are actually seized. 'The rest is flowing in the veins of our teenagers and young people,' Mr Mikhailov stressed.

He mentioned that the number of drug-addicts in Russia has increased by about 9 nine times over the last four years. He added that in such a situation it is worthwhile providing some kind of treatment for drug users. 'Since 1992 the Russian system for providing drug treatment has disappeared. Now we are in a situation where, on the one hand, we want to protect our young people from this evil, but on the other hand we are unable to take any serious measures against those who are inducing young people to distribute and take drugs,' he said.

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