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Alcoholism and Russia


Why are alcohol-associated birth defects so prevalent in children adopted from Russia? The Environmental and Health Atlas of Russia edited by Murray Feshbach in 1995 is an excellent primary source of statistics regarding social, economic, and health issues in Russia. In 1993 the number of alcoholics in Russia rose by 40.8%. There was a stunning increase in alcoholism in women by 48.1%. 80-94% of girls between 15 and 17 drank sometimes and 17% drank often. The difference between urban and rural drinking habits was not statistically significant. Adolescent pregnancy and pregnancy among middle age women is on the rise in Russia. Abortions are common. It is not unusual to read medical abstracts of children in orphanages with maternal histories of greater than five pregnancies.

I recently reviewed 131 Russian medical abstracts. Seventeen of the abstracts revealed

Maternal alcohol ingestion during pregnancy. Of these 17 medical abstracts, two children met the strictest criteria for the diagnosis of FAS. This is a rate of 1.53% or 15 per 1000 births. The worldwide incidence is 1.9 per 1000 births according to Abel et al as discussed above. The rate of FAS in Russia is potentially eight times greater than the worldwide incidence based on my analysis. The birthrate in Russia is 1.4 million per year. With an incidence of FAS of 15 per 1000 live births, there could be 20,000 children with FAS born each year. "

Alcohol Related Birth Defects and International Adoption
Dr. Jane Aronson

As an adult, alcoholism in Russia is growing every year. The road to recovery of alcohol addiction can be a long and dangerous path. Treatment at a facility such as Morningside Recovery could be an integral part of the child's recovery. A rehab at Morningside Recovery or similar facility may be neccessary for alcohol or drug addictions. Although some can curb their alcoholism by themselves many find that Morningside Recovery rehab can provide the neccessary support to speed their recovery.

"Russians now consume more alcohol per person than any other country in the world. The average man drinks about four gallons of pure alcohol a year, or about a pint of vodka every other day, nearly twice what Americans drink. Russian alcohol consumption is a big factor in lowering male life expectancy to a very young 57 years. That means many Russians die of alcoholism before they retire. "

Dead drunk in Russia
Alcoholism up in hard-drinking Russia
January 2, 1996
Web posted at: 6:50 p.m. EST (2350 GMT)

From Bureau Chief Eileen O'Connor --CNN

MOSCOW, February 18 (2003) /from RIA Novosti's Andrei Malosolov/ - Heavy drinking is getting ever worse as national vice, and causes grave concern of the Russian government. Official statistics evaluate annual per capita alcohol consumption at 8.4 litres, and unofficial 14-as against an average 3.5 in the Soviet years, said Alexei Gordeyev, Deputy Prime Minister, as he was summing up a government commission session for the media.

Drug and alcohol abuse is soaring in post-Soviet Russian Federation Koshkina, E. / Institute of Economic Forecasting, Russian Federation , 2003

[The full text of this paper is in Russian language only] In Russia there are very few studies dedicated to health economics. Despite this the acuteness of the health problem in Russia is obvious. The current demographic situation in the country is characterised by a serious fall in fertility rates and constant growth of mortality. Alcoholism and drug abuse feature among the most frequent causes of premature deaths among the adult population.

This article describes the situation of alcohol usage and drugs intake in Russia by using original data from narcological treatment centers and national opinion polls. It aims to draw a general picture and stress the need to find adequate solutions to the existing problems. Otherwise, it argues, the country will face a more severe demographic crisis and bigger population loss.

The study found that:

--daily alcohol intake per men in Russia increased by four times between 1991 and 2000
--sicknesses related to alcoholism and alcohol psychosis from 1991 to 2000 grew by almost 50 percent
--alcohol addiction cases among women reached 443 per 100 thousand in 2000 from less than 400 cases in 1991
--alcohol intake by teenagers increased by 1.5 percent over the past few years



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