Russia records first increase in alcoholism in over a decade

Russia has recorded an increase in the level of alcoholism for the first time since 2010, the Kommersant daily reported on Monday, citing the Federal State Statistics Service publication Healthcare in Russia 2023.

Between 2010 and 2021, the annual number of newly diagnosed cases of alcoholism in Russia decreased from 153,900 to 53,300. However, In 2022, alcohol dependence was diagnosed in 54,200 Russians, 12,900 of whom reportedly suffered from “alcoholic psychosis”. Data for 2023 has not yet been published.

Vladimir Mendelevich, who heads the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology at Kazan State Medical University, told Kommersant that the actual number of patients suffering from alcoholism may be far higher, as many seek help anonymously in non-state institutions, while just as many don’t seek help at all.

The Health Ministry said that the “stress of the pandemic” was partly to blame for the rise in cases, while psychiatrist and drug counsellor Ruslan Isayev told Kommersant that the growth in alcoholism was fuelled by “socio-economic shocks, the rise in geopolitical tensions and the pressure of sanctions”.

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