Approximately 4 million children and adolescents in Russia use drugs, and some 900,000 to 1,100,000 of them are drug-dependent. As reported by Rosbalt, the figures cited were part of an information packet prepared by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation and distributed yesterday in the State Duma in the course of Duma hearings on the problems of abandoned children, drug addiction and juvenile delinquency.
The information noted the preference of Russian youth for hemp- and opium-based products. Along with use of drugs, there has been a sharp increase in use by juveniles of tobacco and alcohol products. According to Education Ministry figures, no fewer than half of all Russians between the ages of 11 and 24 years smoke. The overall spending by children and adolescents yearly on psychoactive substances (drugs, tobacco and alcohol) comes to approximately USD 7 billion.