The number of officially registered drug addicts in Russia totals 450 thousand people, 70 per cent of them are under 25, said Alexei Nadezhdin, chief expert in children's narcology at the Russian Health Ministry, at a press conference in RIA Novosti devoted to the International Day of combating drug addiction.
"The real number of addicts is 7-8 times more than the official figure," he added.
According to some experts, 2.5-3 million people in Russia use drugs for non-medical purposes.
However, the addiction rate in Russia has fallen by one third, Nadezhdin pointed out.
"Both the addiction rate and the number of teen adicts went down in 2001", he said. This trend may be a result of "more intensive activities of law enforcing structures, the adoption of the anti-drug legislation," as well as "the altered mentality of the young generation," the doctor believes.
He also thinks that "spiritualness is the main tool of containing drug addiction." "Countries that base their national ideas on fundamental values have a much lower level of drug abuse," he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to go to the 77th UN General Assembly in September