Russia drug addiction
Six percent of Russian population are drug addicts - (Reuters file photo) Reuters file photo

Nearly 8.5 million Russians are addicted to drugs, says an official report from Moscow.

This suggests that 6% of the 144.7 million people in Russia are drug addicts.

"A total number of people using illicit narcotics and psychotropic substances in Russia is estimated at 8.5 million," according to the official report carried by the state-run RIA Novosti.

Russia tops the list of countries with the maximum number of drug addicts per capita in the world.

Heroin is the main drug used by nearly 90% of the drug addicts in the country.

The government-funded report has been posted on the Russian government website alongside the directives issued by non-government organisations in tackling the situation.

The directives include funding for NGOs, which are working towards rehabilitation programmes for drug addicts.

According to estimates, the heroin market in Russia is valued at about $6bn (£3.8bn).

The official figures say anywhere between 30,000 and 40,000 people die due to drug-related problems every year.

Russia is also a haven for drug trafficking cartels and groups, mainly from Afghanistan in central Asia. War-torn Afghanistan remains the world's largest producer of heroin, according to UN statistics.

Moscow's anti-narcotics bureau had earlier said nearly 1,900 organised groups and 150 cartels, which operate in the region, are active in Russia.

Viktor Ivanov, chief of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN), said 100,000 drug "mules" are being used to transport the narcotics.

Nearly 150,000 criminals are caught every year by Russian agencies for drug-related offences.