“You can still see Russia’s drinking problem everywhere—in its cities and especially in its rural, less populated provinces. A 2011 report from the World Health Organization estimated that Russians were drinking an average of about 4 gallons of pure alcohol per year—about 70 percent more than their American counterparts. In 2009, the British medical journal The Lancet estimated that more than half of all Russians dying between the ages of 15 and 54 were dying from excessive drinking. More than half the children in a typical Russian orphanage, another study found, suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.”

Leon Neyfakh, in the Boston Globe, explores Russia’s alcoholism epidemic and why Alcoholics Anonymous has failed to take hold in the country. Read more on Russia in the Longreads Archive.


Photo: askthepixel, Flickr

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