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Drug Deaths In Russia Spike 60 Percent During Pandemic

Heroin for sale in Moscow. Last year, 7,316 people died from drug overdoses in Russia, up from 4,569 deaths a year earlier. (file photo)

Deaths in Russia from drug-related causes jumped 60 percent in 2020 compared to a year earlier, mirroring trends elsewhere in the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, 7,316 people died from drug overdoses, up from 4,569 deaths a year earlier, according to data from Russia’s statistics agency Rosstat analyzed by RBC news.

From 2016 to 2018, between 4,400 and 4,800 people died from drugs in Russia per year.

In 2020, 50,400 people also died from alcohol-related causes in Russia, or about 6.3 percent more than in 2019.

In June, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime noted the pandemic has led to an increase in drug use worldwide due in part to economic hardships and mental health issues.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Russian Service and RBC
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