Government to Crack Down on Drugs
The Russian Government approved Thursday a federal program for the prevention of drug abuse and trafficking for 2005-2009. The program aims to reduce the market of drug abuse with the annual turnover of $15 billion by earmarking 3 billion rubles within the next five years.
The special-purpose program was presented by Deputy Director of the Federal Drug Control Service Alexander Fedorov. He said there are now over 6 million people drug addicts in Russia, or 4 percent of the national population. These are actual figures, while the official number of drug addicts is 500,000, as hospitals do not always record drug addicts.
The annual turnover of drug trafficking now amounts to $10-15 billion, says Alexander Fedorov. Heroine is the most widely-consumed drug, with designer drugs as marijuana and cocaine being the second popular. Mr. Fedorov asked only 3,062 billion rubles and promised to reduce the rate of drug abuse by 16-20 percent and the number of drug addicts to 950,000-1.2 million by 2010.
The head of the Federal Drug Control Service agreed with Emergency Situation Minister Sergey Shoigu who said more actual results were needed, instead of an array of senseless programs. Deputy PM Alexander Zhukov, who chaired the meeting for premier Fradkov who is on vacations now, said a cutting down in the rates of drug abuse would be an accurate performance criterion.