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8.5 million Russians, or 6 percent of the population, are drug addicts

  |   Sept. 17, 2013 at 8:53 AM
MOSCOW, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A Russian government report released Tuesday estimates there are 8.5 million drug addicts in the country, making up 6 percent of the population.

Russia has the most heroin addicts in the world, and almost 90 percent of the country's drug addicts use heroin, the report states.

The heroin market is estimated to be worth $6 billion, the government-backed news agency RIA Novosti said.

Up to 40,000 Russians die every year from drug-related illnesses, statistics indicate.

The report was published along with amended plans for the state support of non-governmental organizations.

The document calls for NGOs involved in drug rehabilitation programs to be added to the list of organizations eligible for state support, RIA Novosti said.

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