A Soviet newspaper said Saturday that the number of Soviet drug addicts soared from 1985 to 1987, while alcoholism declined.
The labor daily Trud said that in the two-year period, the number of known alcoholics in the Soviet Union dropped by 17 percent.However, the newspaper said that in the same period, known cases of drug addiction rose by 150 percent.
It did not say exactly when the two-year period began, how many drug addicts the country has or what kind of drugs were being used.
The newspaper, which gave the figures in response to a reader's question, based its report on information supplied by the State Committee for Statistics.
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev launched a tough anti-drinking campaign in 1985 that included a reduction in vodka production and stiff price increases for liquor. The newspaper did not suggest a link between the increased drug problems and Gorbachev's measures.
The newspaper said alcoholism is most widespread in the Russian republic - which includes Moscow - the Baltic republic of Latvia and the southern republic of Moldavia. It said drug addiction is particularly bad in the Ukraine and the Central Asian republic of Turkmenia.