MOSCOW, November 22 - RAPSI. The Federal Drug Control Service is preparing to submit a bill on the alternative liability of drug consumers to the State Duma, Viktor Ivanov, the head of the service, said on Thursday.

"We are preparing to submit to the State Duma a bill that will provide the opportunity to choose alternative liability on a mass scale," Ivanov said.

He stressed that groups of drug users will be sent for rehabilitation in 1-1.5 years.

"There is no infrastructure to implement efficient rehabilitation programs," Ivanov said.

Earlier, Yevgeny Bryun, the chief drug abuse expert at the Healthcare and Social Development Ministry, spoke out against introducing criminal liability for drug abuse. He said there are about 550,000 drug addicts in Russia, and 4-5 million individuals have used drugs at least once.

Bryun said it is impossible to put all 5 million people in prison.

He added that there are several groups of drug users - ordinary users who have consumed psychotropic substances several times in their life, drug users who consume narcotics and suffer harmful consequences as a result, drug addicts who need and agree to undergo treatment, and criminal drug users, who are offered alternative treatment instead of imprisonment.