18 Apr '11, 8am

Drug abuse takes heavy toll on Russian economy: Medvedev

Drug abuse takes heavy toll on Russian economy: Medvedev

IRKUTSK, Russia - President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday said drug abuse was a major national threat and cost the Russian economy up to three percent of Gross Domestic Product. The Kremlin chief spoke at a government meeting in the Siberian city of Irkutsk where officials say drug abuse is heavier than on average across the country. "According to expert estimates, we have no fewer than 2.5 million people taking drugs. That is, of course, a scary figure," Medvedev was quoted as telling government officials. "And 70 percent are young people under 30," he said, adding that many new addicts were increasingly younger and now in their early teens. Economic losses stemming from narcotics abuse amounted to 2 to 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product, he said. "Narcotics affect the demographic situation in the country on the whole and destroy the nation's gene pool, people'...

Full article: http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/World/Story/A1...

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