Number of drug addicts grows in Chechnya

GROZNY, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - Drug addiction and peddling are becoming "catastrophic" in Chechnya, said Rudnik Dudayev, secretary of the Chechen Security Council.

Dudayev said at the session of the republican interdepartmental commission on drugs that the increasing involvement of women, who act as couriers, is especially dangerous.

Officially, there are 1,645 drug addicts in Chechnya but the real number is 10-12 times larger. The figures were made public at the session by Ibragim Nuradiyev, head of the Federal Service on Drugs for Chechnya.

According to Nuradiyev, the growth of the number of drug addicts is accompanied by the growth of HIV patients. There are 505 AIDS patients in the republic, most of them infected through drug injections, the service head said.

He added that since the beginning of this year law enforcers had registered 146 drug-related crimes. A total of 574 people have been punished for the crimes provoked by drug addiction and peddling, including 350 for grave drug-related crimes.

Nuradiyev said that nothing is done in the republic to prevent drug addiction; the bulk of rehabilitation efforts concern hardened drug addicts.

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