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Anti-Drug Official Laments Lack of Rehabs

Russia faces an acute shortage of rehabilitation centers for drug users, Federal Drug Control Service chief Viktor Ivanov said at a government meeting Friday.

He also said 30 metric tons of drugs have been seized by law enforcement and more than 6,000 drug dens have been closed since the start of the year, RIA-Novosti reported.

More than 90,000 people have been "brought to justice" for drug-related crimes this year, he said, without elaborating.

During the State Anti-Drug Committee meeting, Ivanov lamented that Russia lacks a unified, nationwide system of drug rehabs. Despite a population of 142 million people, the country has only three federal rehab centers, 27 in-patient hospital rehabs and 50 rehab centers funded by regional governments.

"That's an extremely small number," Ivanov said.

He added that the nation's hundreds of nongovernmental rehabs centers were not looked after by the state.

The Health and Social Development Ministry's top drug expert, Yevgeny Bryun, said in a March interview with RIA-Novosti that Russia has officially registered more than 500,000 drug users and that the overall figure was 2 1/2 times higher.

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