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Kazakhstan citizens drink most alcohol in Central Asia

©RIA Novosti ©RIA Novosti
Kazakhstan is in the first place by alcohol abuse in Central Asia, Director of Kazakhstan National Center for Healthy Lifestyle Zhamilya Battakova told Tengrinews.kz. “According to the World Health Organization, we are indeed in the first place in Central Asia. Judging from this year’s reports, 10-12 liters of pure spirit fall per each citizen in Kazakhstan. In Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan this value is 2-3 times lower,” Battakova said. The expert added that according to the latest clinical survey, 35 percent of Kazakhstan’s population drink alcohol and 17 percent of them abuse it. According to her, the government is working to decrease consumption of alcohol. The customs regulations of the CU (Customs Union) countries will help this strive by increasing the excise tax on alcohol. Based on that, there is a plan that 0.5 liter of vodka will cost up to 1,500 tenge ($10) in Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, there are also some positive tendencies, according to Bakytzhan Nuraliyev, representative of the State Scientific-Practical Center of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Narcology of Kazakhstan Healthcare Ministry. He believes that alcohol addiction has been decreasing among teenagers in the last two years in Kazakhstan. One of the reasons believed to be behind this positive dynamics is that mosques are working with young people and forming up their negative attitude to alcohol. Nevertheless, according to the expert, the problem of teenagers’ alcohol and drug addiction is still acute in Kazakhstan. Nuraliyev said that the youngest registered drug addict taking drugs intravenous is only 5 years old. According to the statistics, Kazakhstan citizens start smoking at the age of 6-7 and try alcohol when they are 10-12. People excessively consuming alcohol are aged from 25 to 40. As for female alcohol abuse, its rate has reached and equaled to the male alcoholism, according to the expert. “This is happening because women are taking too much on their shoulders: work, family, etc. Women are more prone to alcoholism than men. Female alcoholism is progressing much faster. Men prefer going to a bar to get drunk and maybe even pickup a fight. While women are more prone to drinking alone, at home and this is the very reason for solitary drinking,” Nuraliyev explained. According to him, 35 percent of all Kazakhstan people who regularly consume alcohol are women. By Vladimir Prokopenko

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