Russian drug dealers are getting younger - watchdog

There is a trend towards drug-related criminals getting younger, deputy head of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) Olga Mishina said.

There is a trend towards drug-related criminals getting younger, deputy head of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) Olga Mishina said at a meeting in Irkutsk on Monday. "Of the 108,700 people convicted of drug-related crimes in 2013, 66% were young people aged between 18 and 29, and yet another 2,100 were underage," Mishina said.

About 250,000 drug-related crimes are investigated each year, with almost 1 billion instances of drug sales being registered, the FSKN deputy chief said.

"This is a colossal figure, it is impossible to investigate everything (…). Further tightening of policing measures will not stop the spread of drugs, so we suggest focusing more efforts of prevention," Mishina said.

Furthermore, up to 100,000 people die in Russia each year from a drug overdose, she said.

"In 2013, the mortality rate from overdoses and related drug diseases was 28.7 per 100,000 in the urban population. This is 2.7 times than 2012. This figure is especially high among teenagers," Mishina said.

Young people and teenagers are most vulnerable to drugs, she said.

Currently, the age at witch people get their first introduction to narcotic drugs is eleven to 12 years old; for toxic substances, eight to ten years old, Mishina said. Around 18 million Russians tried drugs at least once, and eight million use them with varying regularity.

Read more: Nicotine nation: The story of Russia’s addiction to the cigarette

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