Friday, August 18, 2017

Russian Orthodox Church calls for change in time when alcohol can be sold

Officials with the Russian Orthodox Church are calling for Rospotrebnadzor, Russia's federal supervisory agency for consumer goods, to sell alcoholic drinks only between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The idea was made by the clergy a day after Gennady Onishchenko, the head of Rospotrebnadzor, was compelled to back the compulsory treatment of alcoholism. The proposed change to alcohol sales would return the country back to the Soviet years when alcohol was sold only during the same time window, Neva24.ru reports.

"In Chechnya, (by) the republic's leadership decision, alcohol is sold two hours a day (down) from 10 to 12 hours," Tikhon Shevkunova, an archimandrite of the Sretensky Monastery, said, according to Neva24.ru.

Last summer, the sale and production of ethyl alcohol and alcohol products was banned during the night between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. local time.

Oleg Stetsenko, a psychiatrist, said that the clergy's initiative is a desire to control the ideological process.

"People are always drunk," Stetsenko said, according to Neva24.ru. "And there is always a percentage suffering from addiction. The proposed time limit will only sell to the fact that people will be alternative ways to get alcohol, vodka, trading under the counter. It turns out that we hear political appeals that are without knowledge of the material, and it's scary. Alcoholics become a bargaining chip in political struggle."

Stetsenko said that the solution does not lie in changing when alcohol is sold, but in how addicts are treated by the state.

"We now have no care for people suffering from alcoholism," Stetsenko said, according to Neva24.ru. "There are no rehabilitation centers of government - only charitable or religious. In the West, above all, a man asked if he would plead sick? If yes - he gets help and compassion. If you refuse - like, say, drink and vandalize more - that his action is considered a matter of law."