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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UN Warns of Jump in Heroin Use

VIENNA, Austria-- The United Nations' drugs watchdog said Wednesday the use of heroin and other opiates in Russia was soaring, helping the HIV/AIDS virus spread like wildfire among addicts who inject the drug.

The UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention 2002 annual report on global narcotics trends said the number of known drug addicts in Russia rose by 30 percent in 2000 over 1999 and had quadrupled versus 1995.

Directly linked to the number of injecting drug users was a jump in infections from contaminated needles.

"Russia also has one of the highest rates for IDU-related HIV in the world, which shows signs of rapid increase," the report said. Cases rose to 36,494 in 2000 from 10,678 in the previous year.

The report said there may have been a temporary drop in Russian heroin use late last year after the U.S.-led attack on the Taliban regime sharply cut the flow of heroin from Afghanistan.