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FSKN chief suggests fighting drugs on three fronts at once

October 24, 2012, 20:22 UTC+3

The Interior Ministry and FSKN expose 150,000-200,000 drug addicts annually, and only 2 percent of them are officially registered as drug addicts

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MOSCOW, October 24 (Itar-Tass) —— Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) chief Viktor Ivanov suggested fighting drugs on three fronts at once.

“I suggest that the following three areas of joint work to denarcotise society be made the main ones: undermining the narco-business infrastructure, undermining the narco-business’ economic foundation, and preventing drug addiction,” Ivanov said at a joint meeting of the Interior Ministry Board and the FSKN Board, which was held on Wednesday, October 24 and focused on fighting illegal drug trafficking.

He believes that the ultimate task should be distracting people as much as possible from drugs through preventive measures, timely exposure of drug addiction and effective social rehabilitation and re-socialisation programmes.

“Such mechanism is based on administrative penalties for drug users, be it driving in a drugged state or other presence in society in such a state,” Ivanov said.

The Interior Ministry and FSKN expose 150,000-200,000 drug addicts annually, and only 2 percent of them are officially registered as drug addicts, while all others remain outside of the medical community’s attention.

He stressed the need to move away from punitive measures and focus instead on the use of social mechanisms to fight drug proliferation and drug addiction in society.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev suggested thinking about working out a more flexible mechanism for penalising for drug proliferation that would exclude the possibility of manipulating legislation.

“I think we could think about creating a more flexible model of penalties that would exclude liability for the innocent,” Medvedev said earlier.

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office believes that 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 earlier.

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.

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.

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