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MOSCOW, January 23 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said volunteers can help fight the spread of drugs in the country.
“The number of drug users is not decreasing. There are more than a half million officially registered drug users alone. At the same time, according to specialists from the National Research Centre of the Ministry of Health and Social Development, their actual number is as big as 2.3 million, or nearly 2 percent of the country’s population. These are most socially active people at the age of 18 to 39 [70 percent],” the Prosecutor General’s Office said on Monday, January 23.
Minors, women and unemployed people are involved in drug trafficking more and more often.
The Prosecutor General’s Office said that “the concept of state policy in the field of prevention illegal drug trafficking until 2014 aims to increase preventive measures to keep young people and minors from getting involved in non-medical use of narcotics, and to improve the work of law enforcement agencies in dealing with drug-related crimes, especially with their most dangerous forms, including drug trafficking”.
“Anti-drug propaganda and constant work with at-risk groups, and support for volunteer movements are important. In the rest of the world, the fight against drugs involves not only governmental agencies, whose efficiency is not always so obvious, but also volunteer’s associations,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said.
It also believes it necessary to step up [preventive work in schools, colleges and universities.
“Treatment, rehabilitation and subsequent socialisation of drug users remain among pressing issues. Demand for such services already by far exceeds the possibility of public facilities. Moreover, the number of drug abuse clinics has decreased lately, and their financial and technical condition is poor,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said.
There are 160 public drug abuse clinics in Russia, plus about 400 non-governmental centres, including some at churches.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, nearly 166,000 drug-related crimes were registered and 52.2 tonnes of controlled substances were seized in the first nine months of 2011, including 1.6 tonnes of heroine, 19.7 tonnes of marijuana, 1.9 tonnes of hashish, 188 kilograms of cocaine.
In addition, 534 kilograms of synthetic drugs were seized over the same period of times, an increase of 56 percent from the first nine months of 2010.
According to official statistics, 547,081 people are registered at drug abuse clinics in Russia, and another 196,700 people are registered as potential drug users.