Opium in Iran

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Harvested poppy capsules

Opium in Iran is widely available, and the country has the highest per capita number of opiate addicts in the world[1] at a rate of 2.8% of Iranians over age 15.[1] The Iranian Government estimates the number of addicts at 2 million.[2] Opium and heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan—known collectively as the Golden Crescent—pass through Iran's eastern borders in large amounts.[2] Total annual opium intercepts by the Iranian authorities are larger than in any other country,[3] but the government admits that they can only intercept a tiny proportion of the thousands of tonnes that are trafficked through Iran every year.[2] Opium costs far less in Iran than in the West,[2] and is even cheaper than beer.[1] In Zahedan, an Iranian town near the Pakistani border, 3 grams of opium can be purchased for 10,000 Iranian rials, equivalent to $1 USD, and 1 kg costs the equivalent of $330.[4] In Zabol, $1 buys 5 grams of Afghan opium.[4] In addition to having a low price, opium is popular because alcohol is haram (forbidden in Islam), and more tightly controlled by the Iranian Government. According to official Iranian government reports, within Tehran the daily consumption of opium is 4 metric tons.[5] According to UNODC estimates, 450 metric tons of opium are consumed in Iran each year.[6]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Vick, Karl (September 23, 2005). "Opiates of the Iranian People, Despair Drives World's Highest Addiction Rate". Washington Post. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Oliver, Christian (3 January 2004). "Iran Opium Addicts Find Supplies Despite Earthquake". Reuters. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Samii, Bill (June 16, 2006). "Iran: Opium Cultivation Makes A Return". Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b CHAMKA, Max (6 June 2005). "3 grams of opium for 1 dollar". Caucaz.com. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  5. ^ B., Bamdad (August 24, 2004). "Low times: The drug problem". The Iranian. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "United Nations World Drug Report 2010 and Iran". payvand.com blog. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2011. 

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