MOSCOW, October 17 (RIA Novosti) – Drinking of alcohol by Russians has dropped by one-quarter over the past three years, according to a leading health official.
The Health Ministry’s substance abuse specialist, Yevgeny Bryun, said alcohol consumption per capita currently stands at 13.5 liters of pure ethyl alcohol equivalent, down from 18 liters in 2010.
The 2010 figure was more than twice the level considered dangerous by the World Health Organization.
“I don’t think that Russians drink more than Europeans or Americans. But we drink in the wrong way,” Bryun said. “We drink strong alcohol and we drink it in shots, combining it with the wrong consumption of food.”
The fall appears to be outcome of a government anti-alcohol campaign aimed at halving consumption by 2020 and rooting out illegal production and sales.
A report by the Russian Public Chamber in 2009 said that about 500,000 Russians die annually from alcohol-related causes.