Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, speaking before the State Duma, said drug-related crimes rose to 248,000 in the period from January to September, up nearly 13 percent from the same period in 2003. He said he was most concerned about the growing number of women and teens among Russia's 4 million drug addicts.
A national official said the amount of heroin seized from January through November doubled the amount seized in the year-earlier period.
Nurgaliyev said death penalty would not be the answer to the drug problem and urged Russian businesses to help pay for anti-drug programs.
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