Narcotic addiction and illicit drug sales in Russia are, to a large extent, the result of the economic and social crises of the 1990s. The problem of drug use has been exacerbated by a lack of control over use and movement of narcotic substances and the continual laxity of the country’s southern borders. Analysts believe that the Russian Federation has the largest per capita narcotics market of all the former Soviet republics. Criminal organizations (mafia) are thought to control most of the narcotics trafficking and distribution. Most narcotics are brought into Russia through Central Asian republics, the Caucasus, and Ukraine; however, domestic production of narcotics and other illicit drugs is on the rise. The situation has worsened since the American “war on terror” in Afghanistan, when Russia became the main destination for Afghan exports of heroin. In the Russian Federation, crimes related to narcotics, particularly among ethnic minorities and immigrants, are increasingly viewed as an impediment to the country’s development. Narcotics are closely related to Russia’s demographic challenges and the spread of HIV/ AIDS. The government attempts to fight narcotics use through social advertising and by supporting popular culture, principally films and music that depict individual and societal problems caused by narcotics addiction.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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