Everyone knows that drug addiction is one of the most serious problems of our time. But ... this problem was no less acute in Russia and 100 years ago, as well as later, already under Soviet rule in the 20 and 30 years of the XX century. It is rather difficult to tell about the situation with drugs in this period throughout Russia. Too large amount of information. But, as it is possible to draw a conclusion about the presence of the ocean by a drop of water, so according to the information “from the field” about the situation of drugs in the regions, it is possible to draw a conclusion about the situation with them in the whole country. Therefore, the bulk of the examples taken from the relevant studies in the Penza region.
Well, our story should begin with a reminder that the beginning of the 20th century in Russia was a time rich in upheavals: military conflicts, numerous attacks on individuals close to and from the royal family, civil servants, numerous attacks, workers' strikes in factories and mills - all this brought anarchy and disorder into the lives of ordinary citizens of Russia. The inaction of the authorities caused chaos in society. And where there is turmoil, there is crime. Then he flourished in violent color, spreading through cities and villages, covering more and more new territories. Like a giant octopus, he caught his next victims with his tentacles, and did not let go anywhere from himself. There were many ways to keep it. One of them was drugs. The thing is terrible, turning a person into nothing, sucking everything from it: health, money, property and turning it into a zombie, which will go to anything.
Shot from 1931 movie “Start in life”: “What do you want? Marafet, vodka and girls! "
Narcotic drugs have been used since time immemorial. Of course, there were no synthetic drugs. Enough and that gave nature. Hypnotic poppy, Indian hemp, coca leaves, hallucinogenic mushrooms were used either for medicinal purposes, or for religious rites for 2-3 thousands of years BC According to the testimony of archaeologists, during the excavation of primitive settlements, scientists have repeatedly found the remains, as well as the seeds of plants that can cause narcotic intoxication.
The fact that the Scythians used drugs, wrote the ancient Greek historian Herodotus (c. 2 000 back). Narrating about the population of Scythia, the warlike nomads, he noted that the burning of cannabis stalks was an integral part of their rites. Inhalation of smoke excited, hallucinations appeared, all this was accompanied by a state of euphoria. This explains the use of all kinds of psychoactive substances in religious ceremonies among some peoples. For example, the most common drug of our time cannabis (hashish) was used in Indian religious activities, and only Brahmins, who were among the most elected, were allowed to use it.
Psychoactive substances were also used to treat patients. Evidence of this is contained in ancient medical sources. Hashish, along with opium, was used by Avicenna and other Arab doctors.
Columbus, in his travel journals, described the process of inhaling the powder of a plant “Kogob” by the natives of the West Indies. “Magic Powder” caused uncontrollable behavior and meaningless conversations. Motivated by the need to talk with spirits.
In the Middle Ages, opium was recommended by Paracelsus as a medicine. Raw materials for it came from the Middle East through Byzantium and the ports of Italy. The discovery of chemists, mainly in the field of the synthesis of substances, has contributed to the spread of drugs, as well as methods of their use in the last two centuries. The very first, synthesized from an extensive group of depressant drugs, was chloral hydrate, obtained as a result of painstaking research in the 1832 year. Further, in 1864, Adolf von Beyer, a German researcher, chemist, synthesized barbituric acid. She later became the basis for 2,5 thousands of chemical derivatives.
France also did not stand aside. Back in 1805, chemist Seguin, who served in the Napoleonic army, isolated morphine from opium, which was probably necessary for military surgeons who used it as an anesthetic. British chemist K.R. Wright also contributed to the production of drugs. In 1874, for the first time, he managed to obtain heroin from morphine, but did not receive this fact. Germany, 1898 year. German chemists, knowing nothing about the discovery of Wright, also synthesize heroin, which was originally intended exclusively for medical needs.
Opium was considered one of the medicines widely practiced by doctors. Its appearance in Russia can be marked by the end of the 16th century. Then, in 1581, the first royal pharmacy with a British pharmacist, James French, appeared in Moscow, taking with it, among other things, opium. Subsequently, the Russian sovereigns acquired it necessarily from the British, and later - in the East. (The intravenous use of opium-containing drugs began to be applied after the invention of a special needle for injection in the 40-ies of the XIX century.).
Drug addicts who consumed opium, then strenuously tried to treat with synthesized morphine. The Journal of Modern Medicine at that time wrote: “... Morphine always acts and does not require an increase in intake, that is, patients do not get used to it, as they get used to opium.” In 1871, Dr. Ler recorded cases of attachment to morphine. However, in 1898, a Frenchman, Dr. Charles Richet, continued to assert, as before, that “children do not develop habits of morphine and small doses give a greater effect; at usual consumers and huge doses do not give toxic action ".
Interest in the drug was also warmed up by drug addicts, of whom a considerable number appeared at that time. An example for them was a certain Professor Nusbaum, who lives in Berlin and used morphine "solely because of a head disease" ... In Western Europe in the 19th century. among the very popular writers, poets, artists, journalists there were quite a few drug lovers. Among them are Charles Baudelaire, Theophilus Gautier, Alexander Dumas the Father, Gustave Flaubert, who were members of the Hashisheed Club (yes, there was such, it turns out!), Located in Paris. At about the same time, Russia acquired its own morphinists, etherists, and hashish smokers. The beginning of the XX century. in the cultural life of Russia was held under the sign of modernism. That drugs and have become an indispensable attribute of "bohemian" life. And here very intelligent people voluntarily become participants in a kind of experiment, try on themselves the "extraordinary properties of hashish." They described their feelings after taking hashish as “delightful”. And they asked that they not interfere with their hallucinations and not interrupt their sleep. These people later spread the news of the miraculous hashish, its “special” qualities.
At the same time, cocaine, which by that time had become fashionable in Europe, got into the Russian Empire. Huge demand for it was in the capital cities, where there were many nightly entertainment facilities. "Drug for the rich" found his "friends."
The drug situation in the country changed dramatically after the First World War and the events of October 1917. And later the Civil War and intervention also contributed to the terrible situation in the country: the national economy was undermined by the war with Germany, and therefore factories and plants did not work. General hunger and epidemics raged in a number of regions, hundreds of thousands of children were left without parents and shelter, homelessness grew. Drugs went to the people. And they went to the people because it was the “dry law”, and 80% of people can not live, periodically without changing their consciousness.
But a note about how they drank in the Penza province. One of many. And in one village the peasants drank the school! Cut into firewood. They were sold, bought moonshine and all drank. The whole village was lying drunk. Including children. The ombudsman also first decided that there was an epidemic in the village and dead people lying on the street. But then I learned what was the matter. Not all, however, sobered up.
There were a number of factors that accelerated the already rapid increase in drug addiction. The owners of pharmaceutical companies that produce narcotic drugs as well did not want to put up with the nationalization of property, and therefore threw tons of potions into the black market, hoping to cause riots in the country. In addition, because of the abominable border guard, the import of cocaine from Finland, which was supplied through Kronstadt, has increased by several times. The growth of drug addiction also contributed to the ban on the production of alcoholic beverages.
It is noteworthy that the Bolshevik elite did not refuse the “snuff” either. It is known that G.G. Kaplun (cousin of MS Uritsky), being the manager of the Petrograd Soviet, often invited local bohemians to “sniff the confiscated air”.
At that time, several types of drugs were used in the cities. Cocaine, morphine, opium, ether, anasha, heroin, chloral hydrate were in high demand. Get the drug was not difficult.
The same situation developed in the markets of provincial cities, and the Penza province was no exception. This is how a journalist from Penza describes one such cherished place where everything could be got: “there is in Penza ... a place favored by deserters, speculators, pimps and all suspicious people in general. There you can sell and buy flour, sugar, salt, state-owned boots and soldiers' uniforms, manufactory, galoshes, cocaine, and everything else that can be in stores. ” That is, the sale of cocaine was just as commonplace as the sale of galoshes and bread! Further, in 1921, in Gorodishche, a resident of the Siberian province, F.I. Lupanov, who offered morphine and cocaine to a choice of people. Such is the "huts" for the life of "palaces".
At the beginning of 1920, in Penza pharmacies it was still possible to obtain narcotic substances, including those with fake prescriptions, there were even more people who wanted to! This was possible due to the lack of clear instructions regulating and controlling the release of these substances. Only in July, 1923 was signed by the Instruction of the People's Commissariat of Health “On the release of opium, morphine, cocaine and their salts”, and in the Penza province it was used only in September of that year. The police, relying on this instruction, could now legally detain those who, using fake prescriptions, tried to acquire "doping." History testifies that, for example, the police detained a certain Shimkanov (a hospital employee) for a fake prescription for obtaining chloral hydrate.
By the way, priests, according to the laws of the end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th centuries, were obliged to absolve pharmacists who illegally sold narcotic drugs to civilians who died after taking them.
The final “medicinal” impetus to the growth of domestic drug addiction was given by the Republic of Soviets medicine at the end of the 20s, when they began to sell opium paste openly in the countryside. Especially often it began to be used by peasant women who gave drugs to infants instead of the more harmless poppy broth, which was not always at hand. The paste was used as a sedative, which was given to children for the duration of the chores of their mothers. A general epidemic of child addiction began. “There are many opiophage children in our county,” wrote the village doctor K.K. Vereshchagin from Tambov province ...
Not understanding the danger of drug use, they tried to treat alcoholism (for example, cocaine). And opiomania, morphinism and cocaineism - to treat heroin. Nothing good came of it. For example, M. Breitman in 1902 year strongly recommended heroin from the pages of a certain medical journal to a wide circle of readers as a drug that “ventilates the lungs”. It was recommended to use it for prophylactic, “anti-bronchial” purposes. And from the point of view of Dr. Ladyzhensky, the dose of heroin, in the case of getting used to it, should certainly be increased! And only in 1923, the domestic psychiatrist S.I. Kagan recognized the treatment of drug addiction as intolerable and dangerous, belatedly acknowledging the practice of his predecessor colleagues to be “erroneous” ...
History has no information about the number of victims of such "progressive" methods of treatment. And still to this day in some countries the principle of "wedging knock out fire" is actively applied. When treating heroin addicts, they strongly recommend (and use!) A weaker drug, methadone. "Why not?!". Drug addicts use it as an independent drug, or mixed with other drugs - to increase the "quality" of the buzz. So, there is a benefit from this method, no, the local narcologists there have not yet come to a unanimous opinion.
The most popular drug at the time was cocaine. Facts speak louder than words. In those days, there were eight names of cocaine: anthracite, kicker, coke, marafet, chalk, mura, shokhara, and snuff. As well as the "white fairy" and "mad powder." For the rest of the drugs in the Russian language of that time there were only three names: doggy, darkness, anasha.
Drugs that were in use in a young Soviet country were divided into light (hashish, opium), medium (cocaine, morphine) and heavy (heroin). Consumption "marafet" gave a heightened mood, talkativeness, visual images acquired fantastic brightness. An inexplicable feeling of fear followed, hallucinations behind him — visual, auditory, tactile. The constant use of cocaine led to both moral and physical decay of the individual. Trade in foolishness made a crazy profit, and to get even more, wholesalers added quinine or aspirin to cocaine. Small traders, in turn, packaged “marafet” in doses of 2 – 3 grams, diluted it even more. Therefore, it was rare to find pure cocaine on the market. Only such a dilution can explain the incredible doses of 30 – 40 grams per day, which in the 1920-e years, many cocainists took practically no consequences.
The main consumers of drugs were marginalized: homeless, prostitutes. In 1926, the year M.N. Gernet investigated the drug use indicators of homeless Moscow. Of the 102 respondents, only two answered negatively to the question about drug use. Almost half of the street children tested used tobacco, alcohol and cocaine at the same time, 40% used two of the above substances, and 13% used one. Nearly 100% of children had no families, as well as shelter. 150 homeless 106 used cocaine for a long time.
In prostitutes things were not the best way. In 1924, a survey was conducted among 573 Moscow prostitutes. 410 honestly replied that they have been using drugs for a long time. Of these, two thirds used drugs over 2 years. In Kharkov, among the prostitutes, by the middle of the 1920s, the percentage of drug addicts was even higher - 77%. According to the criminal investigation in 1924, in the glorious city of Penza, out of the total number of prostitutes, 25% constantly used drugs. “Cocaine”, “marafetchitsy” - not only traded themselves, but also offered drugs to customers. Like, "under this thing buzz more."
In the underworld lovers of "marafet" was no less. Even special words appeared among criminals, denoting cocaine and all the actions associated with it: “foreign”, “pulled away”, “open marafet”, “spire”. But in the criminal hierarchy, those who were "at the top", in the "authority", despised the "sniffers", rightly believing that the "coke" weakens the reaction that is so necessary in their affairs. Among other things, drugs were used as a means of committing crimes, first of all, hipes. There were at that time in the course of the expression: "take the pug", or "take the dog." That in translation meant to put drug to sleep. The substance through which criminal acts were committed was called “darkness”.
The war also "helped" in replenishing the ranks of drug addicts. But there was another. Doctors gave the drug to the wounded in order to alleviate their suffering, in order to avoid pain shock, etc. And among the doctors there were lovers of “drugs”, since all this was within reach. Mostly used morphine. The number of users was impressive. There, in Penza, in a psychiatric hospital in 1922, 11 men and three women were accepted for treatment, all “experienced” morphineists. They came to the hospital in an extremely serious condition, many died there. In particular, these three women died.
In 1920, the drug distribution situation in Russia became frightening. Drugs began to spread in the work environment, which previously was simply impossible. Working people were considered to be the “cleanest” in terms of drug use. So, according to the Moscow Narcological Dispensary, in 1924 – 1925. it was the working youth aged 20 – 25 that was the most active part among cocaine users. Here it is, the "consciousness of the working people"! Not the last role was played in this situation by the ban on the production and sale of vodka, without which, alas, the rest of the workers was considered to have been wasted. And because of this, the young “proletarian” often had a charming “white fairy” as an alternative to vodka. It was easy to get it, there were a great many channels. The easiest and surest way was, as in Penza, to get a dose through prostitutes, whose services were used by a certain (and growing!) Part of the working class.
But, fortunately, over time, the drug boom gradually began to decrease. Of course, this happened differently in different provinces. In the largest cities of Russia at that time, only from 1928, drug use, and accordingly the number of people consuming, has declined. In the Penza province, this movement began a little earlier, in 1926 year. Still, strong alcoholic beverages were “respected” in the province, and therefore “coke” consumption was more a tribute to fashion than a necessity. And, nevertheless, lovers of the "marafet", of course, remained. Archival data of the Penza police directly talk about it.
So, at the end of 1927, the Penza police received a signal to steal from drugstore No. 4 a certain amount of narcotic substances, and more specifically, dianin, heroin and cocaine. Stolen intended for the subsequent sale to addicts. In the same year, a “cocaine lover” was detained in Penza, trying to get a large amount of cocaine according to a fake recipe.
The decision of the government to resume the production of vodka, oddly enough, had to be very helpful. Of two evils, they decided to choose the lesser. Carrying out the Decree of the Council of People's Commissars of 28 of August 1925, “On the introduction of the provisions of the production of alcohol and alcoholic beverages and trade in them,” merchants were allowed to sell vodka. And October 5 1925 was the day of the formation of a wine monopoly.
The vodka was then called “rykovka”, so named after the chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR N.I. Rykov, who signed a decree on the production and sale of vodka. The new packaging of vodka instantly got its name among the people, and with political overtones. So, a bottle with a capacity of 0,1 l. received the name "pioneer", 0,25 l. - “Komsomol member”, 0,5 l. - "party girl". But the old names were not forgotten, they were on the run along with the new ones: “forty”, “rogue”, “scoundrel”.
With drunkenness in Penza in 1918 year fought so ...
Summing up, the conclusion is that the shocks of 1910 - 1920-s, restrictions in the acquisition, and sometimes the inability to buy alcohol contributed to an unusual surge in drug consumption, engulfed not only the capital, but also the provincial and district cities. The type of Russian drug addict has also significantly changed. In addition to the marginalized, who were considered traditional drug users, the working youth who received the drug through prostitutes, the main suppliers of potions, became supporters of spending leisure time in a drug mist. Of course, drug use had a wave-like nature in the future, but nevertheless, on the periphery, it was the exception rather than the rule, unlike in capital cities, where drugs were common during the time studied.