Only 15% of Russian drug users enter rehab

Only 15% of drug users entering rehab




When drug use begins and where teenagers experiment with drugs for the first time.


The Federation’s Council for Social Welfare Care met on 9 December to discuss ways of improving measures aimed at preventing and reducing the use of psychoactive substances among teenagers and adolescents.


According to the World Health Organisation, 240 million people around the world take a variety of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and tobacco, said Tatyana Golikova, Chair of the Council and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister. The stage at which young people first try drugs is currently between 12 and 17 years of age.


National statistics show that the total number of drug users in Russia has fallen by 39% over the last ten years due to a combination of measures. However, these figures do not include those who seek help from private organisations.

Mikhail Fonarev, a member of the Council, Director of Endo Pharmaceuticals and Chair of the Consultative Centre on the Circulation of Narcotic Drugs, stated that the United Nations is predicting an 11% increase in drug users by 2030 due to the appearance of dozens of new types of synthetic drugs and their accessibility. Fonarev went on to say that there had also been a rise in the number of drug-related poisoning and deaths in Russia.


One in 20 school and college students admit to having experimented with drugs, although the figure is likely to be much higher, according to Andrey Khazin, Rector of the Russian State Social University. The first time that teenagers try drugs is at parties, outdoors or at school and not in discos or clubs as many people believe. One in three teenagers who have tried drugs once continue to use them, with almost half experimenting on their own at home.


“We need new ways of assessing predispositions for and early identification of drug use. The Russian State Social University intends to conduct a pilot scheme involving students, the results of which will be published”, said Khazin.


Huge numbers of new and commonly used synthetic drugs enter the global market every year, said Tatyana Klimenko, Director of the National Scientific Centre for Addiction Treatment. “Patients are turning increasingly to private clinics and GPs to get help with detoxification rather than receiving treatment. Only 15% take part in the rehab process”, said the speaker.


Problems of drug use nearly always arise as a result of dysfunction within a family in which teenagers do not feel supported or loved, said Stanislav Pekha, founder of the Adults’ Choice charity that works to prevent teenage drug addiction. “Children who are part of a loving family are unlikely to use drugs – they are happy”, said the speaker.


Pekha believes it is important to start working with families in promoting healthy lifestyles and education regarding drug use.



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