Iranians use 42% of world opium

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Annually about 450 metric tons of opium is consumed in Iran, Rouzbeh Kardouni, the head of Social Vulnerabilities Office at the Ministry of Cooperatives Labor and Social welfare said.

The figure is equal to 42 percent of total opium consumption in the world, Kardouni said, Iran's Mehr news agency reported Feb. 16.

The official further said that over 1.3 million people suffer drug addiction in Iran.

He added that the number of people who use narcotics has increased by 70 people per day in the last five years.

The rate of industrial drugs consumption stood at 26 percent last fiscal year (ended on March 21, 2014), meanwhile the figure was about 0.5 percent in Iranian fiscal year of 1384(March, 2005-2006), Kardouni said.

Iranian officials have expressed their concern about increasing consumption of industrial drugs including methamphetamine in the country.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian police have lost more than 3,720 of their personnel in the country's attempts to stop drug use and drug trafficking.

The Islamic Republic lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Gulf states. Iran shares about 900 kilometers of a common border with Afghanistan, through which about 74 percent of opium is smuggled.

According to official estimates, the fight against drugs annually cost Iran about $1 billion.

About 237 metric tons of various drugs, including 190 metric tons of opium, 35 metric tons of hashish, 5.4 metric tons of heroin, 5.3 metric tons of morphine, and one metric ton of methamphetamine were seized in Iran in the first half of the current Iranian fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22, 2014).

It was reported that some 500 metric tons of drugs were seized in the country during the last Iranian fiscal year (March 21, 2013 to March 21, 2014).

Edited by CN

Follow the author on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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