Out of the Shadows: Iran’s Evolving Approach to Drug Addiction

Out of the Shadows: Iran’s Evolving Approach to Drug Addiction
An Iranian police officer stands behind drugs which were seized on the border with Afghanistan, June 1, 2014 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).

Iran has long had one of the world’s biggest drug addiction problems, but the government’s attitude toward the drug war remains rife with contradiction. Iran has taken drug addiction very seriously, as evidenced both by its extensive and heavy-handed law enforcement efforts and by the resources it puts toward prevention, treatment and harm-reduction programs. However, officials have at times downplayed the extent of the problem, as politicians have sought to paint a positive picture of the state of drug addiction in Iran. In a June speech, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that Iran was home to 1.35 million addicts, […]

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