According to the “World Drug Report”, “Iran is responsible for 24 percent of global opiate seizures .Iran accounted for 73 percent of global opium seizures in 2003 and 17 percent of heroin and morphine seizures in the same year.” This report opens our eyes to a critical problem which Iran is facing–Drug abuse, which brings along with it a lot of other problems like theft, murder, suicide, violence and divorce.
Data from various provinces and within different groups show that more than 90percent of the drug abusing population in Iran is male, married and employed. The report also shows that the mean age of drug users is around 33 years and the mean age of first illicit drug is 22.2 years. Substance or drug abuse is not only limited to the common people in Iran but high school students are very rapidly getting hooked to the drug problems. About 24percent of the high school students had substance abuse at some stage in their lifetime. 24 percent of the section use tobacco and 10.5 percent use alcohol. The highest frequency of substance use was among 3rd and 4th grade students. First experience with substances most commonly happened at home (26.6%), friend’s parties (26.3%) and park/street (20.4%).
Opiates are not the single issue with the Iranians, the use of cannabis and synthetic drugs is also on the rise. Among the most frequently used illicit drugs, alcohol, opium and cannabis come at the first place. Along with this, there are also new emerging problems with anabolic steroids, ecstasy and stimulant substances, such as crystal methamphetamine.
The drugs that move out of Afghanistan find its routes into Iran for mass consumption. As there is small number of borders that needs to be crossed in order to transport heroin, therefore the illegal substances easily find its way into Iran. Another reason for the Iran’s drug problem is the cheap and abundant supply flowing from its neighboring country Afghanistan. Over 4,000 tons of drugs produced there annually and another 10,000 tons are stashed and about 2,500 tons comes through Iran on its way to the West.
Opium cultivation in Afghanistan must be wiped out for the drug problem to be solved. Along with that the Iranian government must provide jobs for the people so that they do not resort to drug abuses. Though it’s not easy to completely wipe out the quandary of drug abuse, however if the Iranian Government tackles the problem pragmatically than it can certainly be reduced.