Average Russian Addict Starts at 15

MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) – The average Russian drug addict starts taking drugs at the age of 15-16, the chief of the country’s Drug Control Service said.

“The average age when addicts start taking drugs is 15-16 years, and the average age of those who die from diseases associated with drug addiction and from overdoses is 30 years,” Viktor Ivanov said at a congress of a national volunteer antidrug movement in the city of Saransk, central European Russia.

“An extremely high mortality – over 100,000 people annually – is observed in the healthiest and most active 15-34 age category,” Ivanov said.

The chief drug enforcement official said 8.5 million people use drugs more or less regularly in Russia.

He stressed volunteer organizations may play an important role in rehabilitation of addicts if they manage to convince them to start treatment.

Some 30,000 Russians die from heroin abuse every year, according to official statistics.


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