June 26 marks the “International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking” and is when a thought should be cast to cost to society drugs can cause. They take lives, self respect and destabilize families, national economies and everything in between.
Addiction one of the major causes of crime in Iran, a country which is particularly vulnerable to the drug trade due to its geography. Addiction also begets a lucrative drug industry that causes even more addiction.
Most of the opium, heroin, hashish, morphine and synthetic drugs from Pakistan and Afghanistan move through Iran to Europe and the littoral states of the Persian Gulf.
In its all-out efforts to stamp out the narcotic trade, Iran has embarked on extensive measures to curb drug smuggling through its eastern borders.
In more than three decades of war with the drug mafia, Iranian officials have made Herculean efforts to curb the illicit drug trade and rehabilitate drug addicts without receiving major funding from European countries.
Over the past thirty years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has erected over 1000 embankments, canals, trenches, and cement walls along its eastern borders.
However, according to numerous reports issued by the UN, most of the opium going from Afghanistan to the West is smuggled through Iranian territory. This amounts to approximately 2500 tons of opium every year.
Meanwhile, in another report, UNODC laments the fact that Iran has had one of the world’s largest increases in opium addiction over the past few years, and according to the estimates by the domestic media there are over one million drug abusers and casual users between the ages of 15 and 64 in the country.
Drug experts attribute the large number of drug abusers to the current high level of unemployment and the fact that Iran has a very young population.
In light of all this, experts on drug policy must educate the youth about the dangers of drugs.
As one drug expert puts it: “Drugs consumption is like having a ticking time bomb over your head. You do not necessarily know when it’s going to go off, but it’s likely that it will.”
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