Russia and Intolerance towards Drug Problems

Maria Lúcia Teixeira Garcia


The aim of this article is to examine the problem of drug use in Russia by analysing the direction taken by the drug policies in that country. We conducted an Internet-based literature search using two keywords in English: Russia and drug policy. We began reading the materials identified in the search and organising data. The other sources we used included the websites for the World Health Organization and the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation. The estimated number of people who use illegal drugs in Russia is five million, and of these, 1.7 million are opiate users. In 2012, approximately 2.5 million Russians were drug-dependent[1], and 90% of them used heroin from Afghanistan. With a population of 143 million people, Russia consumes 70 tons of Afghan heroin every year – more than one-fifth of the drug consumed globally – according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Russian drug policy thus calls the world’s attention to what we should not do: focus public policy on actions known to be ineffective for responding to drug use problems.

[1] CNPq and Fapes researcher. Research study (no. 485937/2012-3) funded by CNPq – Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. Member of Fênix group

2 The number of heroin users in countries in Western Europe such as Germany or the United Kingdom is significantly lower – up to 150,000 and 300,000, respectively, according to several estimates. 

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Copyright (c) 2014 Maria Lúcia Teixeira Garcia

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Journal of Sociological Research ISSN 1948-5468


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