The Beatles were partly to blame for a global increase in popular experimentation with illicit drugs, Russia's chief alcohol and drug abuse specialist said.
Yevgeny Bryun, from Russia's Ministry of Health, said the famous British band's ubiquitous success and their open admission about using narcotics to inform their songwriting helped to promote drug use, The (London) Daily Telegraph reported.
"After The Beatles went to expand their consciousness in India ashrams, they introduced that idea -- the changing of one's psychic state of mind using drugs -- to the population," Bryun said at a Moscow press conference.
"When business understood that you could trade on that -- on pleasure and goods associated with pleasure -- that's probably where it all began."
The Beatles' Sir Paul McCartney reportedly admitted in 2004 that much of the band's music was influenced by drugs. Songs such as "Got To Get You Into My Life," "Day Tripper" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" are all said to reference illicit substances.
Russia has about five million drug addicts, a 60 percent increase from the year 2000, Ria Novosti reported.
Bryun said he was concerned that modern advertising is undermining medical efforts to curb the drug problem, saying it actively promote various pleasures, including drug use.
Read more: The Telegraph
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