Thursday, 12 Apr, 2007 Offbeat

2.3 million alcoholics live in Russia


When the world saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia found itself in a difficult situation. Then the situation worsened and today the number of alcoholics has tripled in comparison with 1991. In average the statistics show that one person in Russia consumes about 34 litres of vodka a year.

In his report, Gennadi Onichenko, Russia's chief medical officer, stated that the nation is currently facing a serious problem. Statistics show that in 2005 there were about 2,348,567 registered alcoholics in Russia. Besides drinking vodka and beer, Russiab alcoholics consume quite dubious liquid substances, including perfume and home-made vodka.

The expert at the psychiatric institute in Moscow, Alexander Nemtsov, told the Russian newspaper "Isvestiya" that one out of three death in Russia has a direct or indirect connection with alcohol consumption.

About 72% of all murders are linked to alcohol. For the same reason 42% of people commit suicide and 52,6% fall into the category of traumatic incidents. Professor Nemtsov outlined that with alcohol's help Russia looses from 500,000 to 750,000 people.

Russia's leading narcologist, Alexey Christyakov, who works at Moscow's Alco-Med Centre said that the main reason why Russia has a huge number of alcoholics is that the country passed through very hard times, including revolutions. A lot of people lost their homes and were not able to find a new shelter.

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