Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 25
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
About 8-9 people lose their lives in Iran daily due to drug abuse, Iranian Interior Minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said, Iran's Asriran news agency reported on Jan. 25.
He went on to say that some 1.325 million suffer drug addiction in Iran.
"By including families of drug addicted people, about six million people are grappling directly with problems related to drug abuse," he added.
About 63 percent of drug addicted people are married, 52 percent are employed and 75 percent are high educated, he said, adding that poverty, unemployment and being single are not the reasons for drug abuse.
Commenting on the huge economic costs of drug abuse, Rahmani said barbed wire, guard towers and concrete barriers have been set up along Iran's borders to prevent the supply of narcotics into the country.
The fight against drugs annually costs Iran about $1 billion, according to the official estimates.
Rahmani, who is also the secretary of Iran's Drug Control Headquarters said that using the capabilities of people in tackling drug abuse is the main strategy of the headquarters.
Earlier, Iranian media outlets quoted Iran's National Police Chief Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam as saying about 2 million of drug addicts live in Iran.
Around 1-1.3 million people use narcotics permanently and about 700,000 people occasionally, he added.
Iran is situated in 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, over which 74 per cent of opium is smuggled.
According to the UNODC World Drug Report 2013, Iran accounted for the highest rate of opium seizures (80 percent) as well as heroin seizures (30 percent) in the world this year.
It was reported that 500 tons of drugs were seized during the last solar year (ending on March 21) and over 450 tons during the first nine months of the current solar year.