Volgograd Forum, October 1, 2002


September 5 we held the Forum meeting at the cafe of the Volgograd Academy for Government Service.

The speaker was Dr. Nazim Orudjev of the Volgograd Psychiatric Hospital. He also teaches at the Volgograd Medical Academy. For the last eight years Dr. Orudjev have conducted an extensive study titled "Social Origins of Drug-Addiction in Russia". In a survey which covered about two thousand cases of drug-addicts he studied what caused those people to resort to narcotics, their family and social origins, their physical and psychological development. He has drawn some conclusions and recommendations, which he hopes will help parents, educators, and young people themselves to avoid this dangerous predilection. We picked out this theme because we thought it would be interesting for young people.

In the audience there were activists of volunteer organizations - the Volgograd-based "Mothers against Drugs", "Young People's Parliament", even two Germans of the "Russian-German Exchanges", students, several lawyers and doctors, reporters of two local newspapers.

It was an interesting, in-depth discussion. It turned out that there were serious discrepancies between law-enforcement agencies and medical practicians even on the question who must be considered "drug-addict". The Russian militia (police) considers anyone who tried psychotropic just once as "drug-addict", while Dr. Orujev expressed another, quite moderate point of view. In their turn, activists of the "Mothers against Drugs" volunteer group blamed doctors that their methods of treating drug-addicts were ineffective and that the percentage of complete recoveries in Russia was not higher than 5 percent.

All participants agreed that government agencies and volunteer organizations that deal with this problem work in inadequate contact with each other, and it leads to dissipating efforts.

Alexander Yevreinov
Director, Volgograd Free Speech Forum


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