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Russia bans methadone in Crimea

March 26, 2014, 19:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

There are twice as many drug addicts in Crimea as in Russia, Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov says

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MOSCOW, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will ban methadone, a narcotic drug used in the treatment of drug addiction, in Crimea, Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) chief Viktor Ivanov said on Wednesday, March 26.

Methadone has become a criminal business in Ukraine. Ivanov said its efficacy was not clinically proved, but there was hard statistics showing that the number of deaths from its use in the United States and Great Britain had increased considerably as addiction to methadone is much stronger than that to heroin.

“Methadone is not a cure. Practically all methadone supplies in Ukraine were circulating on the secondary market and distributed as a narcotic drug in the absence of proper control. As a result, it spread to the shadow market and traded there at much higher prices. It became a source of criminal incomes,” Ivanov said.

He said that 200 million US dollars were spent in Ukraine for methadone therapy. Russian specialists and their colleagues in other countries, including the US, do not recognise it as a means of efficient treatment.

There are twice as many drug addicts in Crimea as in Russia, Ivanov said. He described the drugs situation on the peninsula as “difficult” and blamed it on unemployment, available resources for making poppy straw, closeness to Turkey, which is a transit country for Afghan heroin, and circulation of methadone in Ukraine.

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