Iran has 130,000 new drug addicts each year

By chillinwill · Nov 15, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    * One million drug addicts in population of 70 mln

    * Iran major trafficking route for Afghan heroin

    About 130,000 people in Iran become addicted to drugs each year, the Iranian police chief said, acknowledging the scale of the problem for a country on a key heroin trafficking route.

    In comments published on Sunday, Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, who is also head of Iran's anti-narcotics agency, said some 930,000 people in the country of 70 million were addicted to heroin and opium, a figure rising to 1 million if other drugs are included.

    Iran is a key transit route for narcotics smuggled from neighbouring Afghanistan, which produces more than 90 percent of the world's supply of opium, to the West and elsewhere. Opium is used to make heroin.

    Iran's eastern border areas are known for frequent clashes between security forces and well-armed drug traffickers Addicts are often seen on the streets of Tehran and elsewhere.

    Last month, a U.N. report said Afghanistan-grown poppies fuel a $65 billion heroin and opium market that feeds 15 million addicts, with Europe, Russia and Iran consuming half the supply.

    "Based on our estimate, an average of 130,000 new people enter the drug addiction circle annually on a permanent or temporary basis," Ahmadi-Moghaddam was quoted as saying by Hambastegi newspaper.

    Ahmadi-Moghaddam also estimated that about 500,000 people had been treated and rehabilitated over a six-year period.

    The Iranian judiciary is stepping up its fight against the drugs trade but a large part of the "narcotics mafia" is based outside the country, he added.

    "These drug lords run their every day business affairs through petty drug gang members from abroad," Ahmadi-Moghaddam said, speaking at an addiction treatment conference.

    Iran has won praise from the U.N. crime agency for its efforts to curb smuggling of heroin and keep it off Western streets. In the 1990s, Iran began to build physical barriers to make it more difficult to slip narcotics into the country.

    More than 3,700 Iranian security personnel have been killed fighting drug smugglers since Iran's 1979 revolution. Drug trafficking is punishable by death in the Islamic state.

    Reporting by Hashem Kalantari; writing by Fredrik Dahl
    November 15, 2009

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  1. johnnyyen
    ouch!!! whilst it may seem a facile comment SWIM notes that any addict of heroin in Iran or Afghanistan must have a far higher tolerance to opiates due to the purity of their supply..than that of the street level addict in the west..SWIM has seen clips of Afghans,Iranians and Pakistanis shooting and has often thought they must be getting very pure product compared to that which SWIM used to buy..
    this fact must make a detox or rattle of a eastern addict far more severe than a western user,combined with less well run and supplied treatment centres in these countries,the eastern addict has all the cards stacked against them..
  2. Piglet
    I think it's funny that Iran has free methadone programs for all while the US does not. People have a lot of bad shit to say about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but on this issue he saw and acted FAST. Every Mosque in the country talks of addiction and how to get out of it. Pity the smack is SO DAMNED CHEAP and needles so unavailable (yes, help with methadone but NO help with current users.


    Interesting image from the wall of a Tehran university.
  3. Zepfan
    Perhaps this has something to do with it...(from

    Big opium harvest set for Afghanistan

    Published: Feb. 6, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    NEW YORK, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The United Nations predicts Afghanistan will harvest a near-record opium poppy crop this year along with an increasing amount of cannabis.
    The annual U.N. winter survey of poppy planting patterns serves as a warning to Europe and the rest of the world to brace for an influx of heroin, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
    Released by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, the report says there is some evidence sharp increases in cultivation are leveling off yet the "total amount of opium being harvested remains shockingly high."
    In the preface to the report, the executive director of drug and crime office points to a link between Afghanistan's opium harvest and the Taliban insurgency.
    "This is a windfall for anti-government forces," Antonio Maria Costa said.
    The U.N. report said Afghanistan currently supplies 90 percent of the world's opium.
    In addition, the report said the country has become one of the biggest suppliers of cannabis, the plant that yields marijuana and hashish.

    Monkey has to laugh at the obvious propoganda about it being the fault of the Taliban. Before the US invasion, the Taliban had almost completely stopped the production of opium in Afghanistan. Somehow, the mighty U.S. occupation forces can't accomplish the same thing. Yeah, sure...

    It brings to mind news stories about CIA aircraft found crashed with loads of cocaine and heroin, and also reports of body bags returning from the Vietnam War filled with heroin. Monkey wonders how else do intelligence agencies fund their black-budget operations?

    At least the OP's article seems relatively fair and balanced, unlike most of the rubbish Monkey reads in the newspapers concerning Iran and Afghanistan.
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