Read this story and you will see that the Russian Women in this particular village are pretty courageous given the scale of the alcoholism that is afflicting their men.
Alcoholics in Russia have little to no support in terms of peer support or organizations like AA that can help them recover and become functional again. So to see a grassroots effort on the part of these women no matter how small is good.
July 30, 2008, 16:01
Siberian Women Battle Against Alcoholics
The stereotype of the hard-living, hard-drinking Russian man is common around the world. Alcoholism is a huge problem in the country, killing more than 50,000 Russians a year. But in a Siberian village women have decided to things into their own hands.
Aleksandr Shatalov’s wife worries that if he carries on the way he is, he may not live to see 50.
“Come on sister, I’ve been drinking longer than you have lived. I’ve drunk since I was 5 years old, and I’m 44 now,” Shatalov says.
So, in steps the local Women’s Council. 19-member council say they’re taking on each and every vodka-drinker in the area – and there are almost 1,000 alcoholics on their list.
“We received so many complaints about men drinking heavily. We’ve seen families destroyed by alcohol. So, we created this Council and we’re working with the authorities to take action,” says Maria Khoklova, Head of Women’s Council.
They’ve been given local government funds to provide medical treatment for alcohol abuse.
“We’re doing our best to put these men through a detox programme and give them medication which reduces the alcohol craving. But treatment is only effective if patients are willing to change their ways,” says Anna Felisova, Women’s Council doctor.
Alcoholism is a deeply ingrained problem in remote Russian villages. Vodka is partly to blame for Russia’s rising mortality rate and its declining population.
But many men want to kick the habit – they just need the means and encouragement to do so.
So far, the Women’s Council has 60 success stories.
Aleksandr Stashkov has recently taken the treatment and he’s now in remission.
“They talked to me like to a human being. They persuaded me to undergo treatment and a small miracle happened. Now I have no desire to drink. Life’s better now, I’m looking at it through different eyes,” says Aleksandr Stashkov, a recovering alcoholic.
Encouraged by success, Council doctor Anna continues the battle knocking on the door of known alcoholics.
Sometimes Aleksandr Shatalov takes note and sobers up. Right now he’s back on the booze.
“Excuse me? Medical treatment!? I’m never going to sign up for medical treatment. Ruin my health on that! No, never! But maybe I’ll get some pills when I’m tired of boozing,” registered alcoholic Aleksandr Shatalov says.
(you can read the original article here)
Now to give you an idea as to the scale of alcoholism in Russia consider this.
The United States has 300 million people which is over twice the population or Russia (currently 145 million and declining rapidly).
In the entire US there are roughly 300 direct deaths related to alcohol each year.
While in Russia as you can see from the above article that number is around 50,000.
And this doesn’t even include the fact that alcohol is also responsible for 2/3rds of the 30,000 Russian auto fatalities a year as well.
Loading up on shot after shot of straight vodka is a major part of the male culture here. It’s not uncommon for any Russian Man to consume half a bottle of vodka in one sitting completely on his own. This is often the case for any occasions or celebrations and the Russians have many.