Category Archives: drug addiction

Russia Solves its Drug Addiction Problem?

When Russia found it had a fertility problem, its adopted an unusual solution:  bribing parents to have babies.  Never mind what might happen to a child born into a family which only had him to get a quick infusion of cash, never mind that one Russia woman is murdered by her husband every forty minutes.  And now the New York Times reports that Russia has found an interesting “solution” to its drug addiction problem. Regardless of the fact that it’s palpably illegal and barbaric, Russia simply puts an addict in a cage and lets him scream until enough time has passed for his withdrawal symptoms to disappear.

The treatment center does not handcuff addicts to their beds anymore. But caged together on double-decker bunks with no way out, they have no choice but to endure the agonies of withdrawal, the first step in a harsh, coercive approach to drug treatment that has gained wide support in Russia.

“We know we are skirting the edge of the law,” said Sergei Shipachev, a staff member at the center, which is run by a private group called City Without Drugs. “We lock people up, but mostly we have a written request from their family. The police couldn’t do this, because it’s against the law.”

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Narcotics and the Russian Ostrich

Open Democracy reports:

President Medvedev is so alarmed by Russia’s spiralling drug problem that he recently called it ‘a threat to Russia’s national security’. For the head of state to adopt the language of the defence of the realm in this context, rather than social protection, may seem odd. But the words were chosen carefully. The message Russia’s government is conveying is that the country is up against sinister forces in its fight against drugs.

Russia’s drugs crisis is real enough: between 2000-05 the number of drug users grew by 400%. Between 2000-05 the number of drug users grew by 400%. Even official figures reckon the number of addicts as between 2-2.5 million, some 2% of the population, while independent estimates put the figure at closer to 3-5 million. Unlike the rest of the world, in Russia, the HIV epidemic shows no signs of slowing down.

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Heroin Addiction Spreads like Wildfire in Russia

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The young man named Anton is a member of Russia’s “lost generation.”

He’s the son of middle-class, college-educated engineers; he studied at a good university and became a truck sales manager in Moscow. He’s also a 28-year-old heroin addict.

In the years since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan triggered a sharp increase in poppy cultivation, Russia has been flooded with heroin. The drug has crept along a trail stretching from Afghanistan through Tajikistan and other Central Asian nations and over the Russian border, turning this country into the world’s top consumer of heroin, the government says.

The drug has spread like fire through a country uniquely unqualified to cope with its dangers: Narcotics were largely absent during Soviet times, and most people are still unaware of the risk of heroin addiction, even as an estimated 83 Russians a day die by overdosing on the drug, government figures show.

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