Saturday, November 10, 2007

друг = хороший...drugs (наркотики) = плохо

I always find that when I watch a clip in English, with subtitles in a foreign language, that it really helps me develop a more intuitive sense of the language I want to learn.

I was searching youtube for clips of movies/tv shows that I am familiar with, that had the extra bonus of Russian subtitles or dubbing. I find it very helpful. I searched clips like the simpsons or Harry Potter, and I thought it was hilarious that this clip came up over and over again...

I don't know........someone obviously thought it was vital that this was translated into Russian..... *shrug*
So it inspired me to research the history of drug use in the USSR/Russia.

Apparently the first information on people suffering from drug addiction in the USSR appeared in the in beggining of the 1950s. At that time about 300 people were registered.

Since the mid 50s an internal drug market began to form in the USSR. Poppy plantations were the most obvious, appearing in Куйбышев (Samara), Нижний Новгород regions, in Татарстан and Беларусь.
In the 60s, large hemp plantations were planted in the far western Краснодар and Ставропольский край regions. In the Ukraine hemp was planted for sale within the country, as well as for export. The Ukraine still exports thousands of tons annually.

Until the mid 70s, in some regions of the USSR, narcotism was usual but not a publicly recognized occurence. The real drug revolution did not occur until the end of the 80s. It is thought that such a delay in comparison to the West is due to the following:

1) Post-war time difficulties -social and cultural problems, national economy recovering.

2) Total alcoholism. Who needs drugs when you live in such a vodka-saturated culture? The place of a drug as an antianxiety remedy in a Russian man's culture was already occuipied by alcohol.

3) Social, cultural, economic isolation from trade and most other ties with the world, and laws against going abroad.

All this, and especially the last factor, meant that there were no universally widespread drugs throughout Russia. Thanks to this, the home-made industry flourished. In country territories cherniashka was popular -poppy straw broth, along with home-made amphetamines such as 'jeff', 'mulka', 'vint' and marijuana.

Now that the Iron Curtain has dropped and Russians are free to travel, other addictive substances have made it into the country. Thanks mainly to injection drug use, the HIV epidemic is now rising faster in Russia than anywhere else in the world. Injection drug use has become quite widespread among young people, especially young men. An estimated one percent of the population are injecting drug users. In St Petersburg it is believed that the number of people infected with the HIV virus is close to 100,000.

Drugs are bad, mmkay?

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