Russia’s heavy drinkers turn to moonshine, cleaning products

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/03/25/russias-heavy-drinkers-turn-to-moonshine-cleaning-products/21157456/

MOSCOW (AP) — As the economic crisis sweeps through Russia, a dangerous trend is emerging in this heavy-drinking country: the rise in consumption of potentially lethal moonshine, medical alcohol or even cleaning products.

Layoffs, wage cuts and price increases are combining to worsen the problem of alcoholism, which has long been a major public health issue, by increasing the mix of dangerous products in the market. Those who can no longer afford store-bought drinks are turning to “under the counter” alternatives that can cause serious damage, even death…

Analysts say falling sales likely don’t mean that demand is falling, simply that it is being pushed into an illegal and dangerous black market…  “Today the share of illegal vodka market adds up to half of the total market,” she said in e-mailed comments, adding that recession will just exacerbate the problem…

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