Myths and legends about "drinking" Russia

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Myths and legends about "drinking" Russia
Myths and legends about "drinking" Russia

Russians have never been a drinking people and did not consume alcohol. They became it. Who benefits from this?


The rector of the East European Institute of Psychoanalysis, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation Mikhail Reshetnikov writes about this in his article "Alcoholic mythology in the Russian state".

Who is guilty?

That's not news. Many people know that, for example, in the 19th century, our country was in one of the last places in the alcoholization of the population among the countries of Europe. The most prosperous drinker was now Sweden, where in the middle of the nineteenth century, alcohol consumption was estimated at 46 liters per person per year. Moreover, England, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland and France were also considered to be drinkers.


Today, according to the State Statistics Committee, the consumption of vodka in Russia in 2001-2003 alone increased by 6%, champagne - by 10%, beer - by 20%, wine - by 22%, and cognac - by 31%. Generally speaking, only the official consumption of alcohol at the end of 2003 was 69 liters (!) Per capita, including babies.

Academician, social hygienist Yuri Lisitsyn cites data that indicate that more than 75% of high school students consume alcohol, while the level of alcoholism among girls is on average higher - 80-92% in Moscow and the Central Region of the Russian Federation.


“Because of this, it is no longer surprising that female alcoholism is growing in the country at a faster pace, and the number of women in the structure of only registered alcoholics has doubled over the past decade, amounting to 19%,” Reshetnikov writes. "According to statistics, so-called clinical alcoholics make up about 12% of the country's population, but, according to experts, this figure is twice as much - about 20%."

But “next to” one such alcoholic “formed” at least five (!) Of those who also begin to regularly abuse the green snake.

Despite the psychological orientation of Mikhail Reshetnikov, he, unlike many doctors, says that alcoholism is not a disease, but "a disorder due to the use of psychoactive substances" (this is the definition of alcoholism that is accepted in the international classification of diseases). Alas, many doctors speculate on this, probably from someone's high presentation, presenting alcoholism as a kind of disease.


"It is not the disease that leads to alcoholism, but the exorbitant production, sale and use of toxic substances sanctioned by the state," Reshetnikov writes.

Therefore, the myth that alcoholism is a disease is simply beneficial to those who make fabulous profits from it. At one time, namely with the introduction of the so-called Gottenburg system in Sweden in 1865, after 20 years alcohol consumption in this country decreased three times (from 45 liters to 15 liters per person annually). After such a successful practice, the same system was introduced in the UK, Norway, Finland and a number of other "alcoholic" countries in Europe. And everywhere the Gottenburg system has brought results: within 20-40 years, the number of alcohol producers decreased by 10-50 times, traders of alcoholic products - from a hundred times, and per capita consumption - by 3-10 times.

“This system has never been accepted in Russia, but only discussed,” Reshetnikov writes. - Something always hindered its implementation. And the main thing that hindered was the coincidence, in fact, of the antipopular interests of two powerful parties: producers and sellers of alcohol - in superprofits, and the state - in "drinking collection"."

But what about "filing" and "encoding"? Those who are not by hearsay familiar with the "alcoholic" topic have long known that all this gives absolutely nothing, except for a temporary abstinence from alcohol - from a month to a year.There is no question of any cure for alcohol addiction (like any other), in principle - any narcologist and psychotherapist will tell you this. You can only learn to live with it (of course, live productively). There are no former alcoholics. But even those 10% who managed to "tie up" for a long time (from 20 years to the end of life), unanimously admit that their life is like when you constantly go up the escalator, which goes down.

What to do?

The Gottenburg System, which is still partially still in place in Europe today, is based on the following components:

1. Recognition that the problem of alcoholism is not so much a medical problem as an economic and social problem.

2. Recognition by the state of its responsibility for soldering the population.

3. Relative monopolization of alcohol production under the vigilant state control over its quality and sale.

4. The introduction of restrictions, up to a complete ban, on the import of imported alcohol.

5. A strict limit on the number of places for the sale of alcoholic beverages throughout the country, as well as the granting of the right to local administrative structures to tighten this limit at their discretion.

6. Limiting the profits of private companies for the production of alcoholic beverages by five percent (the rest of the money should go to the budget). At the same time, civil servants should not have the right to be shareholders of these companies.

7. Prohibition of making a profit from the sale of alcohol by the reseller and seller.


Only in this case, as Reshetnikov writes and as the experience of European countries has shown, it will simply be unprofitable for sellers to trade in alcohol, and for producers to produce it. None of the sobriety societies, enlightenment, prohibitions and attempts at a medical approach, as the world experience of the past two centuries has shown, give results at all. So sometimes the "scientific" medical problem is actually not such and rests only on the policy of the state.

“A country that is consistently drunkard cannot be rich. And you need to really imagine that it will take at least 30 years to get out of this situation. If we start now,”concludes Mikhail Reshetnikov.

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