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United Nations: Iran a Model of Drug Addiction Treatment

While the UN isn't sanctioning Iran, it's praising the country for its successful efforts to treat drug addiction. The UN Office on Drugs and Crimes says Iran has been more supportive of drug treatment than any other government in the Islamic world.

One to 10 million Iranians (depending who you ask) battle addiction. Abandoning strict punishment a while back, the theocratic government takes the drug problem head on, generously financing numerous treatment centers, providing those not ready to quit with services like free needles, and encouraging citizens to think of addiction as a disease, according to the New York Times.

Even though they don't treat addicts like criminals, Iranians aren't ready to stop all the blaming. To see why Iran thinks America is slowing down their treatment efforts,


Antidrug official say the American military ignores poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, a major cash maker for the Taliban and al Qaeda. One official told the NY Times: “We think the Americans want to keep this source of infection near us. Because of the animosity between Iran and the US, this is the best way to keep our resources and forces occupied.”

Apparently Iran doesn't see drug addiction as a crime, but rather a disease and geopolitical tool. Are you surprised Iranian society and government is so open about drug addiction?


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
But how many 18yo's who are in jail qualify for college? I agree that we don't need to crowd our jails and prisons with first time offenders who are 18, but don't dumb down the colleges with kids who aren't smart enough to know how to say "no thanks"
janneth janneth 9 years
Go to college or go to jail. It would be cheaper for society, our jails don't need an 18 year old first offender.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
snowbunny - my response to your boyfriend's little brother is WTF?! Why were you trying to buy something illegal? He is lucky that he got caught so soon. I don't think this will ruin his life, unless he just sees this as a punishment, and not a wake-up call that it's time to be an adult.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I'm not down with blaming the US for their drug use, but it just further makes me angry about our own drug policy. We'd rather spend taxpayer money locking up someone who did coke twice for 5 years than funding treatment centers. Our drug policy seriously makes no sense. I think it should be illegal to sell coke, heroin and meth because those drugs are seriously awful, but penalizing those who suffer from addiction is just a strain on our budget and doesn't help anyone. I would think conservatives least of all would want to spend their cash to put a coke addict in prison for five years! My boyfriend's little brother, at 18, just got arrested for buying coke, which is an automatic felony in NYS, and has a minimum sentence of 1 year in jail for first time offenders. He has never had any previous arrests or drug problems, and is set to start school at the local university in the fall. I'm not excusing his idiotic behavior, he is responsible for his actions, but it does make me mad that the stupid decision of an 18 years old will pretty much ruin his life. I also think it's unfair that NYS has such harsh drug laws compared to the rest of the US, and, oh yeah, IRAN. Wtf. :(
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
ugh why do countries consistently blame us for their drug issues? the president of mexico blamed their violent drug cartels on americans and their "drug appetites" and now iran says that we are to blame for their drug problems. and while i dont agree with our current policies, could it be that the flip side isnt any better and thats why irans drug use is so high? I think that "recreational drugs" like MJ, opium, mushrooms, should be legalized. These drugs have way different attributes to them than coke, heroin, and meth i wholeheartedly agree jillness
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Take pictures and share (if you can) nicachica! Good luck
nicachica nicachica 9 years
Oh Jill, is there nothing we don't agree on? I'm hosting an Obama house party on Saturday morning. Wish me luck! ;)
janneth janneth 9 years
I bet that some of these Irani officials are related to drug addicts and that is why they are "lenient" and have more wisdom in their policy.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"But it can also be taken as an edible meaning cooked into food and lessens the risk of any throat/lung problems." Exactly...which takes the risks down to nearly nothing. And yet the government still says that you can take Oxy Contin or asthma medication that can cause "sudden asthmatic death", but you go to jail if you make some special brownies!
Jillness Jillness 9 years
I know some people that smoke MJ at night to help them sleep, and it is far less harmful than very addictive sleeping pills that are legal and plentiful. I think that "recreational drugs" like MJ, opium, mushrooms, should be legalized. These drugs have way different attributes to them than coke, heroin, and meth.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
Ok well I have to go try and get my mortgage rates lowered, cross your fingers for me. Have a great weekend everybody! :)
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
It helps a lot with nausea. That's one reason why chemo patients tend to smoke it. It's also a good pain reliever. My husband who has lupus, has a lot of pain in his joints from it will occasionally smoke to ease pain without all the chemicals of pill pain relievers. I had a friend who did because of his chrone's disease which meant he had to take steroids. The steroids made him mean and the weed mellowed him out to make him bearable to other people. The only "bad" side effects I have seen are memory issues and if it's smoked can have the same lung/throat issues as with smoking cigarettes. But it can also be taken as an edible meaning cooked into food and lessens the risk of any throat/lung problems. But I'm no doctor or expert I'm just saying what I've seen and experienced. As for how I've felt myself after using it I've never been more impaired than drinking a glass of wine so it's not that extreme. I've also never seen the addiction extremes like with cocaine which my ex was addicted to.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Having never smoked marijuana, I can't speak accurately about the effects. Would someone care to educate me?
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I think marijuana should be the only other drug legalized. I think it could be as easily monitored as tobacco and alcohol. I don't think there needs to be a prescription involved.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
What drugs should be legalized? Are you saying that a person would have to waste a physician's time, so that he could write a prescription for every tom dick and harry that wants to get high?
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Agreed, UnDave, but if you made some illegal drugs legal, they would have the potential to be monitored as well.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Hypno, I have seen several of the History of Drugs series. It is REALLY eye opening! That is actually where I found out that the main component in Meth had 3 sources.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
"But with many drugs, even ones that are currently legal, what is deemed "harmful" is a big grey area. The list of side effects from some legal drugs can be quite a bit longer and more serious than some drugs that are currently illegal." But those legal drugs also require a doctor's prescription, which also means there is some sort of monitoring of the administration of the drugs.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I know many people that use marijuana for example and I have not seen any side effects worse than smoking regular cigarettes which are legal. Infact some of the benefits out weigh any harmful side effects which is why so many cancer patients especially use it. I think marijuana should be legalized and in my opinion if the gov was smart they would tax it just like they do cigarettes and then they would be able to monitor it better like tobacco as well.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Did anyone else see the History Channels presentation of Drugs in America? Shoot I can't remember which one it was Heroin or Acid but there was a drug that was a government funded trail in which people were paid to use it. The Dr. who was associated with the trial got hooked and started having these drug parties it was very interesting.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
There are a number of "recipies" for making Meth, but ultimately you have to get psudo-ephedrine (I believe that is what it is called, but the spelling is way off). There are only 3 drug companies that make that ingredient, and that is the key to the high. The other parts vary...bleach, fertilizer, chemicals, etc. "I don't think legalizing anything that harms people is a good thing." But with many drugs, even ones that are currently legal, what is deemed "harmful" is a big grey area. The list of side effects from some legal drugs can be quite a bit longer and more serious than some drugs that are currently illegal.
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 9 years
Oh, but Undave, tobacco and alcohol are legal. They kill.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I don't think legalizing anything that harms people is a good thing.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
Jill have you seen the show "Breaking Bad" it's about a chemistry teacher who starts making/selling meth to pay for his medical bills and help take care of his family after he gets cancer. I don't know if it's true or not but from what it shows it's not that hard to make if you can find the right stuff. I totally agree with you on the decriminalizing lesser drugs. They could spend less time bothering with the pot growers and have more time to go after these super dangerous meth labs that people set up in their homes.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"The U.S. Drug Policy has always been a misguided approach." I agree. I think part of what keeps the business thriving is that since it is illegal, it makes it harder to ship and sell. The illegality keeps the price up, and so it makes it more lucritive for those who want to do the dirty work to sell it. I think our drug policy lacks focus, and would benefit from decriminalizing lesser drugs. Also, Meth is ruining our country, and yet it only has 3 sources! There are only 3 companies in the entire world that make the main component in Meth....this makes it so different from other drugs that have organic roots and can be grown by anyone in the right conditions.
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