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    MAKHACHKALA, March 17 - RIA Novosti. A mass action with the participation of students, schoolchildren, students of educational establishments, representatives of the Makhachkala Mayor's Office, public organizations, medical workers, and clergymen of various confessions is to be held under the motto Young People of Dagestan - Against Drugs in the capital of this Russian autonomous republic on the western coast of the Caspian Sea on Wednesday.

    The manifestation is initiated by the directorate of the State Drugs Control federal service of Russia for the republic of Dagestan.

    As chief of the directorate Azizbek Cherkesov said, this kind of preventive work among young people is necessitated by the fact that "the drugs threat has become pressing in the republic." According to official statistics alone, 3,000 drug addicts have been registered in the republican drugs dispensary. "And by the data of our service's analysts, 35,000-40,000 people in Dagestan use drugs," he added.

    According to Cherkesov, "the production of vegetable drugs which are widely known not only in the republic but also in many other regions of Russia has long been organized in Dagestan." The new anti-drug agency has been operating in the republic since July 1, 2003. Over this period of time the directorate of Russia's State Drugs Control federal service for Dagestan has filed 265 criminal cases, with 92 per cent of them - on the sale of drugs on a large or particularly large scale.

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