The country's chief drug doctor said Monday that he links the explosion in demand for recreational drugs with the appearance of cult rock band The Beatles.
"After The Beatles traveled to expand their consciousness in Indian ashrams [Hindu religious retreats], they brought the idea of changing one's psychic state to the people," Yevgeny Bryun told a news conference.
"When business then understood that it was possible to make money off this — pleasure, goods associated with pleasure — that was when it [the growth in demand for drugs] started," he said, Interfax reported.
The health official added that contemporary culture and advertising, which promote pleasure-seeking without considering the consequences, were a major threat to society.
For this reason, he backed testing adolescents for drugs to discourage drug taking.
"Either we stop them [adolescents] from taking drugs at an early age, or prison awaits them. Or the pathologist," he said.
Bryun also told journalists that "limiting people's demand for pleasure" was a wider aspect of health authorities' struggle to limit drug use.