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MOSCOW, June 17 (Itar-Tass) —— A bill enacting forcible treatment of drug addicts in Russia was submitted to the State Duma on Friday. The bill is authored by Liberal Democratic deputy Vasily Zhurko.
“Drug abuse is one of the most serious problems faced by the Russian society. It is a threat to national security,” he said. “Drug addiction is a grave disease, and the constant increase of the number of drug addicts in the country calls into question the physical and moral health of the younger generation, the future of a significant number of young people and the social stability in Rusisa,” he noted.
Drug abuse “has a large influence on the general crime rate in the country. A drug addict is ready to commit any crime – from theft to murder, especially as drug prices are growing constantly. A person intoxicated with narcotic drugs may be used as a perpetrator of felonies by others,” he said.
The deputy thinks that treatment must be forcible both for drug addicts convicted of crimes and those who have not become criminals. It is also possible to start treatment of persons who have tasted narcotics just once without a doctor’s prescription, he said.
The bill suggests treatment as an alternative to criminal penalty for misdemeanors. A doctor, not a court will decide how long the treatment must last, Zhurko said.
He thinks the initiative will help fight the spread of narcotics in Russia and reduce the number of drug related crimes.
Former State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov has called for forcible treatment of drug addicts many times.
Vladimir Putin said last June that forcible treatment of drug addicts was not an option, and other solutions should be found.
Chief drug specialist of the Russian Health and Social Development Ministry Yevgeny Bryun said that drug addicts must not be forced to receive therapy but must be forced to stop using drugs.
Meanwhile, the Federal Drug Control Service has proposed social benefits for former drug addicts upon their successful rehabilitation.
“It would be expedient to elaborate a mechanism of social benefits for citizens rehabilitated from drug addiction,” Service Director Viktor Ivanov said. He also called for giving preferences to enterprises ready to employ former drug addicts. “There must be a motivation for employing former drug addicts,” he said.
There is no notion of social rehabilitation in Russian laws at present, Ivanov said.