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Drug addicts cost Russian economy $82 billion a year — drug control service chief

December 01, 2014, 19:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to the Russian drugs control agency, some 65% of all crimes in the country are related to drugs
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© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Khamelyanin

MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Russia's top drug control official has described drug abuse as a menace directly undermining the country’s economy.

Russia is annually loosing up to 1.5 trillion rubles ($30.5 billion) of its GDP, as addicts spend an average of 4.5 billion rubles ($91 million) a day on drugs, the chief Russia’s drug control service FSKN, Viktor Ivanov, told legislators on Monday. He remarked that the amount was 1.5 times greater than the federal government's spending on defense and 3.5 times greater than the budget of the nation's health service.

The real damage to the economy is thrice as heavy, totalling at least 4 trillion roubles ($82 billion) annually, Ivanov said.

According to the Russian drugs control agency, some 65% of all crimes in the country are related to drugs, so it is particularly important to set up a national system for the rehabilitation and resocialisation of drug addicts, Ivanov said.

Over the past five years, the Russian authorities have closed some 50,000 drug dens and clandestine drug production laboratories, and eliminated a major underground drug cartel producing benzyl methyl ketone (BMK), an essential ingredient in the production of amphetamine sulphate.

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