A citizen from Shiraz, who was a victim of the Iranian regime’s criminal policy, has spoken up about the regime’s policy of spreading addiction to drugs and other substances, and the extent to which this problem has affected Iranian society.
He began his remarks by stating, “The regime’s policy is to get all the youths addicted. This is something that now everyone knows, therefore many have decided to quit their addiction. I was addicted for nine years. Now I have quit it for four years and have been cleansed. Now I’m encouraging others to do the same thing.”
The man explained that he took this decision when he realized that the act of spreading addiction across the country is the regime’s plan to prevent the people from protesting. As a result, he, along with a group of like-minded individuals, have taken to conducting meetings every night to encourage others to seek help.
He said, “When they catch you with alcohol, you will face flogging, imprisonment, and fines. But if they catch you with drugs, there will be no punishment. Drugs have become very cheap. For about ten years, the price of opium has stayed the same, about five to six thousand rials (USD 0.15) per gram. Heroin has become very cheap and abundant. We have heard that the IRGC has taken over the control of the opium transit from Afghanistan to Turkey [through Iran].”
As heroin is cheaper than opium, a lot of people have resorted to taking heroin, even youths. Many young girls are also addicted to hashish and Marijuana.
He stated, “A new tragedy is that the government is giving out methadone pills. That is, government clinics provide on a quota or free basis. I asked the doctor what are the side effects of methadone? He said it is even worse than opium and other substances.”
He added, “Even in prison, methadone syrup was given to prisoners in large quantities. My friend who went to prison said 70 ccs of methadone syrup had to be given to the people forcibly. While two cc of methadone is equal to 10 grams of opium. They gave it for free. They deliberately gave it for free so that everyone could become addicted.”
Methadone can create life-threatening side effects. The man claimed that around 70% of young people in the city of Shiraz are now addicted to a substance.
For those wanting help to overcome their addictions, many fear entering the government’s addiction treatment centers due to reports of patients being beaten to create panic. Those who can afford to pay for treatment are faced with bills of around 1.9 million rials for public camps, and around 1.3 million rials for private ones.
In regard to the government boot camps, the man explained, “Anyone who goes to the government camp must sign an agreement that if he/she died, it is his/her responsibility, and the blood money is 5,000 rial,” he said.
That is, people’s lives are worthless. Now everyone goes to a private camp. Private camp officials have benevolent intentions and are all members of the N.A. Association. This association is active all over Iran and encourages young people to quit their addiction. No addict comes to the camp on his own. We force and encourage them. We realized that this phenomenon is a dirty conspiracy of the regime, therefore we are motivated to do so.
The man concluded his speech by saying, “The situation now is that young people, despite their addiction, are protesting and are active because now everyone understands that the country’s system is the cause of their addiction, and they are filled with resentment.”
Asghar Bagherzadeh, the regime’s deputy director of education and culture, has said that the number of students using drugs in Iran is worrying. He said the reason for this is that the students have easy access to drugs. Bagherzadeh has also stated that there are no exact statistics on the number of addicted students in the country.
Saeed Safatian, an addiction analyst with a history of policymaking in this area, in an interview on June 10, published by the state-run daily Rouydad 24 said that there are no separate statistics on the number of addicted children and adolescents in Iran, and in fact, these statistics are not very important for the relevant authorities. As a result, there is no planning in this field either.
He stated that the reason for the easy access to drugs is the organization and cohesion of drug trafficking networks and the easy promotion and sale of these drugs in cyberspace.
He believes that no school principals dare to run addiction prevention programs, therefore students turn to drugs in the context of learning from their peers. He believes that in Iran, in addition to curiosity, the feeling of hopelessness that is promoted by the regime also has a direct effect on drug use by this age group. He also announced that the number of female addicts has doubled since 2011.
It is worth mentioning that Mohsen Rezaei, the regime’s Vice President of Iran for Economic Affairs, had previously said that the problem of addiction, and its scope of distribution and trafficking, are all from within the country and the regime knows who is in charge, but no action has ever been taken.