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Alcoholism Viewed as Major Problem in Soviet Homes

November 16, 1987|United Press International

MOSCOW — Interior Minister Alexander V. Vlasov said Sunday that alcoholism is becoming a major problem in Soviet homes, for the most part out of the reach of controls outlawing drinking at work and in most public places.

In an interview with the Communist Party daily Pravda, Vlasov said there are 4.5 million registered alcoholics in the nation of 283 million. Unofficially, the number of alcoholics is four to five times higher.

Soviet newspapers have put the number of "hard drinkers" at one out of five for men and slightly less than that for women.

"Drinking, which was outlawed at work and in public places, has slipped into the family arena and the home where social and administrative control is more difficult," Vlasov said.

Shortly after coming to power 32 months ago, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev launched a personal drive against alcohol consumption. Vlasov said the results have been mixed.

Although per capita consumption of pure alcohol had fallen from 8.4 liters in 1984 to 4.4 liters in 1986, Vlasov said more and more people are brewing and drinking liquor at home.

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