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22% of Russia’s 700,000 prisoners are drug addicts

December 05, 2013, 18:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 05. /ITAR-TASS/. More than 700,000 people are serving prison terms throughout Russia, of which 22% of them are drug addicts, director of Russia’s anti-drug service Viktor Ivanov said on Thursday.

“Prison will not cure these people,” he said at a meeting with students of the Moscow-based Plekhanov University. “When at large, they will go to a night club, to the streets, they will meet with their former friends. Drug addiction now is reproducing itself, so the number of drug-related crimes is growing.”

According to the Russian anti-drug chief, the number of drug abusers in Russia is on the rise. “In the past seven to eight years, there have been about eight million drug addicts,” he said, adding that in 2012 alone as many as 98,000 people aged from 15 to 34 had died from drug abuse, most of them because of the failure of internal organs.

He noted Israel’s positive experience in tackling this problem, with special penitentiaries for drug abusers.

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