Heroin Addiction Is Still Shooting Up

Russia is the world’s biggest target market for heroin distribution. More than 90 per cent of the world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan. Then the drug floods into Russia across Central Asia’s porous borders.

President Dmitry Medvedev has called the drug trade from Afghanistan “a threat to national security”. With an officially estimated 2.5 million Russian addicts, heroin has created a ‘lost generation’ here, the Federal Drug Control Service chief Victor Ivanov said last week.

Sergei Polyatykin, head of the ‘No’ to Alcohol and Drugs Programme Fund, said “The main point is that too many drug addicts are victimized in Russia. They don’t have the means to get treatment and rehabilitate themselves, because state programmes and money are practically non-existent. So it’s very difficult for a person to give up,” he said.

Teenage addicts are legally required to follow anti-addiction courses until the age of 18 (up from 16). The rational idea is that doctors and teachers believe that ages from 16 to 18 are the most dangerous for developing a dependency on harmful drugs.

Currently, almost nine out of ten heroin addicts return to drug abuse within a year of leaving rehab.

Reducing heroin addiction, however, also requires reducing supply. Narcotics traffickers are able to take advantage of rampant border corruption. Victor Ivanov, Federal Drug Control Service chief, recently highlighted the lack of effective border control as a major problem, but also blamed NATO forces for doing “next to nothing” to halt drug production.

The spike in heroin production in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001 has been a major source of tension between Moscow and Washington. While eradicating opium fields deprives Taliban[10] forces of funding for their insurgency, it also drives local farmers towards the Taliban, since it deprives them of their main source of livelihood.

Taliban or no Taliban, leaving the people of Afghanistan to decide their own future, without bombing or foreign occupation, is the only way to rebuild the country and move away from its dependency on the drug trade.

(Tom Balmforth, “The Moscow News”, № 41; 27 October – 2 November, 2009)

Exercise 12.Find synonyms among the following words:

drug addiction; graft; violations; to increase; fight; drug abuse; to guard; narcotics traffickers; security; effective; drug users; to halt; to be hooked; danger; to reduce; border; to intercept; unlawful; drug addicts; to shoot up; boundary; drug traders; to stop; to be addicted; safety; to cut; breaches; illegal; struggle; bribery; to protect; threat; to seize; efficient.

Exercise 13.Give the English equivalents to the following Russian word-combinations (see the article above):

наркомания; вторжение США; уязвимые границы; поля опиума; местные фермеры; денежные запасы (фонды) для поддержки движения Талибан; торговцы наркотиками; развитие зависимости; иностранная оккупация; восстановить страну; разумная идея.

Exercise 14.Rewrite the sentences below translating the Russian words and word-combinations into English.

1. The Russian проблема наркотиков involves a dramatic рост in the use of сильнодействующие наркотики like героин.

2. Торговцы наркотиками are able to take advantage of процветающая коррупция на границе.

3. President Dmitry Medvedev has called the drug trade from Afghanistan «угроза национальной безопасности».

4. Now more than 2.5 million Russians являются наркозависимыми.

5. Ages from 16 to 18 are the most опасный for developing a зависимость on harmful наркотики.

6. Russia is the world’s biggest target рынок for героин distribution.

7. There is obvious evidence that NATO силы are doing nothing to halt производство наркотиков in Afghanistan.

Exercise 15.Render the article above in 10 -15 sentences.

Use the following clichés:

The title of the article is....

The article comes from....

The author of the article is....

This article is about....

The main problem of the article....

The article contains (how many and what parts)....

The author points out....

The article deals with....

The author comes to the conclusion....

The article draws the reader’s attention to....

Exercise 16.Translate the following into Russian in writing.

Society expects Government, through Customs, to provide protection at coasts and borders against traffic of illegal or restricted goods, such as drugs, firearms, heritage items, endangered species, pornography, etc.

Exercise 17.Read Text 3 to match left and right.


1) to discourage illicit drug use a) охранять, контролировать (свою) «территорию»
2) to enforce domestic laws b) предотвращать поставки наркотиков
3) to prevent supplies of illicit drugs c) действовать независимо, самостоятельно
4) to intercept shipments d) препятствовать незаконному использованию наркотиков
5) to act independently e) проводиться местными агентами
6) to guard ‘turf’ f) применять местные законы
7) to be conducted by local agents g) перехватывать партии наркотиков


Text 3

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