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Russians Significantly Cut Back on Booze — Drug Treatment Center

Over the past five years, Russians' alcohol consumption has dropped by almost a third, the Health Ministry's top drug specialist Yevgeny Bryun told the M24.ru news website.

“An adult drinks 12.8 liters of pure alcohol a year on average. Five to six years ago the official amount was 18 liters per person,” Byun said, adding that the decrease was caused by the economic crisis, the work of drug treatment and increased governmental regulation over the alcohol market.

The number of alcohol poisonings also tumbled by about 25-30 percent, he said. In the last two years, the number of alcohol poisonings during the New Year's holidays has risen by only 5 percent — three times less than in previous years, Bryun said.

According to Bryun, the ban of selling alcohol after 11 p.m. has also contributed to diminishing alcohol abuse in Russia.

“Alcohol and drug use is an indicator that reflects the underlying processes of the society. People have less money now, and their first reaction is to save on alcohol,” Bryun said. But if the crisis deepens, Russians will start to drink more, he warned.

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