Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said this today at a meeting with the ministry's senior officials discussing prevention of teenage neglect and juvenile delinquencies.
"Teenagers abusing drugs total about 4 million people, including about a million of drug addicts," said Nurgaliyev citing the Ministry of Education and Science's data.
According to the minister, this figure is at variance with the statistics of medical clinics. However, experts say official medical figures cover merely the most obvious 10% of the "drug iceberg," said the minister.
Nurgaliyev said the Interior Ministry had registered a growth in juvenile delinquency.
According to him, over 154,000 crimes were registered in 2004. "These should be added to another 60,000-70,000 crimes committed by underage people," said the minister.
Nurgaliyev said over a million teenagers had been detained by police in 2004, and over 655,000 children and teenagers already have a criminal record.