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The number of drug addicts in Russia allows saying it is a drug addiction epidemic in the country
The number of drug addicts in Russia allows saying it is a drug addiction epidemic in the country, the chief of the federal service for control over drugs, Viktor Cherkesov, said in an interview published in the Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper on Friday. According to specialists, if one percent of the population regularly takes narcotics, one can say it is a drug addiction epidemic. Russia stepped over the dangerous line long ago. Drug addicts number six million in the country, and most of them are young people, Cherkesov noted. "We are faced with a powerful criminal industry. The narcomafia from the beginning has huge capital and uses various ways to get onto the market," he said. A natural environment for the narco-business is corruption, and the narco-system itself creates the environment, he added. A system against the drug threat is set up in Russia. It is up-to-date and meets the standards of developed countries. The federal service for drug control is its base. The task of the service is to find and arrest drug traffickers and destroy the narcomafia's financial base, Cherkesov noted. When drugs are seized, the amount decreases on the market, and the price rises. It becomes less affordable. The prices for the fastest-sold kinds of narcotics rose 20-30 percent in Russia last year. About four tonnes of heroin was seized in the country in 2004. It is approximately 40 million doses, enough to make millions of people drug addicts. "You may think we have saved the people from inevitable death," Cherkesov said. Drug dealers lose their criminal incomes when drugs are seized, and one should not forget that they spend part of the incomes to buy and deliver other batches of drugs, the head of the anti-drug service noted. As much heroin was seized in Russia over the January-October period in 2005 as over the whole last year. It means the anti-narcomafia system is gaining strength, he added.
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