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Lukashenko demands new anti-drug measures

MINSK (BelTA) – The situation with the distribution and consumption of drugs has been stabilized in Belarus. There are no grounds for self-complacency however, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he hosted a government meeting on 29 October to discuss ways to counteract drug distribution and drug prevention measures, BelTA has learned.

Attending the meeting were government members, heads of the ministries and departments, judiciary.

According to the head of state, drug control and drug prevention have been discussed at a high level many times for the past five years. “Systemic measures adopted in Belarus in 2014 helped us turn the tide,” the president said. “We managed to stop the distribution of synthetic drugs, so-called spices, which were distributed mainly among young people. Criminal liability for the illicit trafficking in drugs and psychoactive substances has been significantly toughened.”

“As a result, we have stabilized the situation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. Over the past five years, the number of drug crimes has decreased by 1.5 times, those committed with the participation of minors - about 5 times (from 466 in 2014 to 97 in 2018).

The number of drug overdose deaths in Belarus is 14 times lower than in Lithuania and 72 times lower than in the United States. The last overdose death of a teenager occurred in 2014.

“However, despite these figures, there are no special reasons for us to be complacent,” the head of state noted.