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Russian drug addicts sentenced to forced rehabilitation in every possible way evade the execution of court decisions. Searching for and punishing such “deviators” is becoming an increasingly important task for law enforcement agencies. Details of the problem and ways to solve it are in the Izvestia article.

News about sanctions against persons evading compulsory treatment is increasingly appearing in the country’s media. So, a resident of the Tula region went under arrest for 10 days for such an offense. In September 2021, the court ordered her to undergo treatment and anti-drug rehabilitation. As part of the latest trial, the magistrate of the site number 32 in Novomoskovsk establishedthat since November the woman has ignored the duties imposed on her by the court. This is not the first court decision of this kind, but the practice has only recently begun to take shape.

– It cannot be said that many are brought to administrative responsibility for evasion, but the case in the Tula region indicates that the state is willing to exercise greater control over the treatment of drug addicted offenders, – told “Izvestia” Margarita Kurashina, a member of the Association of Lawyers of Russia.

Who is forced to be treated

A source in the anti-drug police unit told Izvestia who is most often forced to undergo treatment for drug addiction through the courts, and under what circumstances.

Photo: TASS / Gerdo Vladimir

– When we detain a drug addict after buying through a bookmark, the weight of the drug is not always enough to criminalize illegal possession. But this does not mean that the offender is released on all four sides. A protocol is drawn up under Art. 6.9.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, a drug addict comes to court, which imposes a punishment in the form of either a fine or administrative arrest. At the same time, the court sends the offender to a narcological dispensary for diagnosis. If addiction is detected, the person is obliged to undergo treatment and rehabilitation. There are special centers, including free ones, where a person receives the necessary assistance. But not everyone wants to be treated.

Plant and heal

Not so long ago, courts began to use compulsory drug and alcohol treatment as an optional measure. Such treatment is provided for by Art. 72.1 and 73 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

– The court may impose on a person, taking into account his age, ability to work and state of health, the obligation to undergo treatment for drug addiction. We are talking about treatment, as well as medical and social rehabilitation. The same goes for the conditional sentence. As follows from the content of the article, such compulsory treatment it is an additional criminal law measure that can be ordered by the court, – explains Kurashina.

A prerequisite for the appointment of such an additional measure is the fact that a person has drug addiction. It can only be established by a properly conducted examination. It is often carried out even at the stage of preliminary investigation, if the police become aware of the facts of alcohol or drug abuse by the person involved in the case.

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Photo: Izvestia / Alexander Kazakov

Control over the execution of the convict’s obligation to undergo treatment and rehabilitation is carried out by the criminal executive inspectorate. If the inspectors reveal facts indicating the evasion of the convicted person from the obligation to undergo treatment, then they send materials to initiate an administrative offense case under Art. 6.9.1 Administrative Code of the Russian Federation. The evader faces an administrative fine in the amount of 4,000 to 5,000 rubles or a punishment in the form of administrative arrest for up to 15 days.

“In practice, drug addicts do not particularly strive during the process to complicate its course with unnecessary examinations and receive additional encumbrances in a judicial act,” Kurashina shared her observations. – Usually, such a line is applied by the defense if the accused himself wants to undergo rehabilitation, and there is also a desire to show the court the determination to break with addiction and illegal activities.

A reasonable alternative

Drug addicts have long emphasized the need and importance of treating drug addicts for the success of their social rehabilitation.

“Our community considers the actions of the state in this direction to be extremely important and necessary,” says Ruslan Isaev, a narcologist, president of the Independent Narcological Guild. – We studied in detail foreign experience, in some countries there is an alternative for drug addicts-criminals – prison or treatment. Practice, including international practice, shows that drug addicts have a very high recidivism of crimes after being in a colony. Until the psychology of a person has changed, it is difficult to count on his return to a normal social life. After all, these are sick people, the disease pushes them to mindless crimes. In a sense, harmful antisocial behavior is only a consequence of painful changes in the brain.

In addition, the treatment of drug addicts, their return to society is economically much more expedient than keeping them in colonies, as evidenced by both foreign studies and the calculations of domestic specialists.

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Photo: Izvestia / Alexey Maishev

– There is a paradoxical situation: young people are dying in places of deprivation of liberty, turning into criminals. And for us, taxpayers, it also costs more. A drug addict may well become a full-fledged member of society. These are not empty dreams – there are real examples from practice. So there are long-term economic benefits in the compulsory treatment of criminal drug addicts, – Ruslan Isaev considers.

Suggestions have already been

The initiative to give drug-addicted criminals the right to choose between criminal punishment and treatment was initiated back in 2011 by the then Federal Service of the Russian Federation for the Control of Drug Trafficking (FSKN). The agency’s proposal was based on the UN recommendations and international conventions.

The proposed program consisted of three stages: basic treatment (two weeks of detoxification, treatment of psychopathological disorders), two months of work with psychiatrists and rehabilitation.

However, the project was not destined to come true, although some of its provisions were adopted. The FSKN itself was disbanded in 2016.

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