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Russian Narcotics Chief Says Addicts Should Be Locked Up

Viktor Ivanov

Viktor Ivanov

The head of Russia's Federal Narcotics Control Service (FNCS) says drug addicts should be locked up.

Viktor Ivanov said on March 23 he believes that Russia's growing drug addiction problem can be controlled quickly and efficiently by imprisoning addicts "for six months or a year."

He said that the present maximum penalty for the systemic use of illegal drugs -- a fine of around $15 -- does not deter addicts from seeking out narcotics.

He said the threat of serving significant time in jail would be a more serious deterrent.

According to FNCS data, more than 5 million drug addicts live in Russia, and approximately 100,000 people die of narcotics-related causes every year.

Based on reporting by dpa and Interfax