Here is an article from Russia Today that I found interesting:
New measures to cut Russia’s alcohol consumption by 2020
18 December, 2009, 20:24
Authorities plan to introduce an anti-drinking policy to cut alcohol consumption by three-fold by 2020. The measure is expected to be introduced in two steps within the next 2 years.
The government has suggested banning covert alcohol advertisement, limiting the time of day at which alcohol is sold and improving warning labels as just some of the steps in the process.
If the program succeeds, total consumption of alcohol per person should drop to 8 liters of alcohol per year.
In respect to the level of alcohol consumption, contrary to the stereotype, Russia lags behind European countries such as the UK, Germany, France and the Czech Republic, among others. Nevertheless, President Medvedev has called Russians’ proclivity for drinking, a “national catastrophe.”
Dr. Jeannot Hoareau from the European centre for Psychotherapy believes the reasons behind alcoholism among Russians are the same as in the rest of the world: anxiety, depression and problems people can’t deal with on their own.
“The most important thing is knowledge on that matter,” he says, “You can’t stop alcoholism by just raising prices. Back in the 1980’s Gorbachev did that. And it didn’t work. It was an utter failure.”