RIA Novosti: Top Russian psychiatrist links increased drunk driving to economic strain

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, November 24, 2014) The Russian Health Ministry’s chief freelance psychiatrist [Zurab Kekelidze] has declared that the number of road traffic accidents involving drunk drivers has risen by 10 per cent in Russia this year, possibly due to psychological strain owing to changes to the international and economic situation.

“In the first seven months of 2013 the number of road traffic accidents involving drivers in a state of intoxication was 6,932, and in the first seven months of 2014 the number was 7,822,” said Kekelidze, who also holds the post of CEO of the Federal Medical Research Centre of Psychiatry and Narcology. He added that in 2013 the number of deaths in road traffic accidents involving drunk drivers had more than doubled in comparison with 2008.

According to Kekelidze, the rise in alcohol use among drivers may be connected with economic factors.

“The external factors vary greatly, starting from changes to the international situation, which is reflected through fluctuations in our currency… [ellipsis as published] The strain on society, and naturally on families, is rising,” the expert said.

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