Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Drug abuse growing among conscripts - Defense Ministry

MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) - The number of drug users among conscripts drafted in spring 2006 rose 3.5% on the conscription period in fall 2005, a Defense Ministry official said Tuesday. "The number of conscripts who say they are regular drug users has grown in number from 0.5% during the fall 2005 call-up to 4% in the current spring [April-June] conscription period," said Nikolai Reznik, in charge of educational work at the Defense Ministry. Reznik said most conscripts admitted taking soft drugs, including marijuana. He also said more men were joining the armed forces after completing a higher education this spring. The number rose 3-5% against the 2005 fall period, which lasts from October to December, he said. Low levels of education and poor health among conscripts have been major problems hindering the Defense Ministry's conscription efforts.

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