Russia declares “total war” on the country’s drug problem

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 04 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4194
  1. Andrew Osborn
  1. 1Moscow

The Kremlin has declared what it calls a “total war” on Russia’s drug problem and is drawing up changes in the law that would give drug addicts a stark choice: forced treatment or jail.

In a move that harks back to the Soviet Union’s hardline approach to the problem, the government says it also wants to treat drug dealers “like serial killers” and jail them for life, forcing them to toil in harsh labour camps.

“There is no time to lose. Our self preservation is at stake,” said Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament and a senior figure in the ruling United Russia party. …

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