Opium in Iran
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Opium in Iran is widely available, and the country has the highest per capita number of opiate addicts in the world at a rate of 2.8% of Iranians over age 15. The Iranian government estimates the number of addicts at 2 million. Opium and heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan—known collectively as the Golden Crescent—pass through Iran's eastern borders in large amounts. Total annual opium intercepts by the Iranian authorities are larger than in any other country, but the government admits that they can only intercept a tiny proportion of the thousands of tonnes that are trafficked through Iran every year. Opium costs far less in Iran than in the West, and is even cheaper than beer. 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. In Zabol, $1 buys 5 grams of Afghan opium. 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. According to UNODC estimates, 450 metric tons of opium are consumed in Iran each year.
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- "United Nations World Drug Report 2010 and Iran". payvand.com blog. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2011.
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