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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article presents the results of studies dedicated to examining the current situation in Russia when it comes to narcotics. Reflected are its characteristics, which lead to a new wave of widespread drug use and the transformation of the causation-correlation complex, which in turn lead to a transition to “new” drugs and new so called “soft” models of consumption. Based upon analyzing medicinal and criminal statistical data (from Rosstat, the Research institute of narcology, and internal Affairs), as well as materials from surveying the working population (2013 N=1126; 2016 N=1337; 2017 N=1406), it is revealed that, despite certain positive shifts in the situation with narcotics, and a decrease in certain parameters of susceptibility to drug addiction, the situation when it comes to drug use in Russia remains steadily complicated. Revealed is a tendency towards a shift in the narcotics’ structure, with heroin being replaced by amphetamines, psychotropic medicines, “new” narcotics and alcohol. Noted is an exacerbation in terms of the situation with illegal drug traffic, together with an increase in the amount of crimes committed under the influence of drugs. There has been an increase in the amount of consumers, due to people from certain social groups (which previously were not included in the so called “group of risk”) becoming engaged in illegal drug trafficking. Revealed are internal contradictions when it comes to the social attitudes and common views that Russian people hold towards drugs. Despite public opposition, there is a liberalization occurring in the attitude towards drugs, in that the use of certain substances is becoming acceptable, if only under specific conditions. Intolerance towards “hard” drugs has given way to a more lenient attitude towards other so called “new” substances. So called “soft” models of consumption (“status”, “controlled”) are becoming more prevalent: they do not lead to one rapidly losing touch with society, but they bear serious social consequences and create the illusion of safe consumption, thereby increasing the percentage of hidden drug use. In this regard certain vital challenges have come about, such as the theoretical comprehension of the changes occurring, the formation of explanatory models, which would allow for developing technologies to prevent and control “soft” forms of consuming narcotic and psychotropic substances.
drug situation, the new drugs, «controlled» drug use, «recreational» drug use, motives of consumption, the first test of drugs.
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