Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.14/ Trend F.Karimov/
More than 300 tons of narcotics have been discovered and seized in Iran since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21), the Mehr News Agency quoted Iran's National Police Chief Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam as saying.
The figure shows a 20 per cent rise compared to the same period in the previous year, he added.
Based on UN statistics, the amount of narcotics which are transited via Iran has decreased sharply from 5000 tons per year to 1700 tons, of which 500-600 tons are seized by the Iranian police, he said.
Prices of narcotics in the country have increased six fold because of a police crack-down on drug dealers as well as national currency devaluation, Ahmadi-Moqaddam said.
In February, Ahmadi-Moqaddam said that about two million drug addicts live in Iran.
Between one to 1.3 million people use narcotics permanently and about 700,000 people use the substances occasionally, he added.
It has been reported that 500 tons of drugs were seized during the last solar year (ended on March 10) in the country, with 115 tons of that amount being seized during the first three months of the Iranian calendar.
Iran shares about 900 kilometres of common border with Afghanistan through which about 74 per cent of opium smuggling takes place.
Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states. The Islamic Republic shares about 900 kilometres of common border with Afghanistan, across which about 74 per cent of opium is smuggled.
According to official estimates, the fight against drugs annually cost Iran about $1 billion. Statistics also say that there are about two million of drug users in Iran.
Each year, Iran burns more than 60 tons of various seized drugs as a means of its determination to fight drugs.
Meanwhile, around 700,000 drug addicts are under treatment for addiction in Iran, manager of the prevention and drug issues office of Iran's Welfare Organisation, Mohammad Nafariyeh said, ISNA news agency reported.
He went on to note that Iran's Welfare Organisation has undertaken treating some 512,000 drug addicts across the country.
Nafariyeh said that some 5000 addiction treatment centres are active in Iran with 2300 belonging to the Welfare Organisation.
The other addiction treatment centres are being managed by the Iran Drug Control Headquarters, Iran's Health Ministry and Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Municipalities.