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Russian alcohol sales surge to nine-year record

Growth in demand for hard liquor was the most notable last year, analysts say

Sales of alcoholic beverages in Russia hit their highest level in nine years in 2023, according to researchers using socially relevant public data. They stressed that the increase in demand for hard liquor was the most noticeable.

The study carried out by the project ‘To be precise’ shows that alcohol consumption in Russia amounted to eight liters of ethanol per capita, the highest since 2014. In 2007, the amount totaled 11 liters, versus 7 liters recorded in 2017.

According to the report, based on statistics from Russia’s Health Ministry, the national statistics bureau Rosstat, and the Russian Federal Service for Alcohol and Tobacco Market Regulation, spirits amount to nearly 60% of alcohol consumed by Russians, including unregistered alcohol.

The analysts noted that the figure had previously been on a downward trend, dropping from 62% to 58% registered in 2017 and 2022, respectively.

The report also pointed to growing alcoholism, citing statistics showing that the number of people suffering from alcohol addiction saw a slight increase in 2022, while in the years prior to 2021 it demonstrated a consistent downward trend.

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FILE PHOTO: Alcoholic drinks at a Russian supermarket.
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The Jewish Autonomous Region, the Republic of Karelia and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region are among the leading locations when it comes to alcohol sales per capita, while the highest mortality from alcohol poisoning was recorded in the Kurgan and Penza Regions, as well as in the Republic of Buryatia.

The consistent trend towards reducing alcohol consumption was disrupted by the pandemic, the study cites experts from the Ministry of Health as saying, who highlight that people in Russia and around the world began drinking more in response to prolonged stress.

Earlier this year, psychiatrist and narcologist Ruslan Isaev told TASS news agency that alcohol consumption had been growing in Russia over the previous several years due to intense stress factors, including Covid-related restrictions and the aggravation of geopolitical tensions.

June 22, 2024 at 09:24PM

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