babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


  
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » archived babble   » the middle east and central asia   » Opiates of the Iranian People

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Opiates of the Iranian People
blake 3:17
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10360

posted 26 September 2005 02:39 PM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Nariman is 18. And like hundreds of thousands of Iranians turning to harder narcotics at younger ages, he regards drugs as the only alternative to work.

"We should have jobs," Nariman said, standing in the vast cemetery on the southern edge of Tehran. In a routine played out every Thursday, the day families traditionally visit the cemetery devoted mostly to war dead, young addicts sweep in afterward to scavenge the cookies and dates left on the graves.

"I sometimes find work," Nariman said, "collecting stale bread in town."

According to the U.N. World Drug Report for 2005, Iran has the highest proportion of opiate addicts in the world -- 2.8 percent of the population over age 15. Only two other countries -- Mauritius and Kyrgyzstan -- pass the 2 percent mark. With a population of about 70 million and some government agencies putting the number of regular users close to 4 million, Iran has no real competition as world leader in per capita addiction to opiates, including heroin.

When an earthquake leveled the city of Bam in 2003, among the emergency supplies rushed to the scene were doses of methadone, a synthetic drug used to treat heroin and morphine addicts, for the 20 percent or more of the population believed to be addicted. So many Iranians rely on opiates that an influential government analyst suggests the state itself should consider cultivating poppies.

"Yes," said Azarakhsh Mokri, director of the Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies: "A strategic reserve of narcotics."

Discount Prices
------------------------------------------------------------------------


But if the utility of narcotics has roots in Iran's ancient culture, and the discount prices (about $5 for a gram of heroin, 50 percent pure) stem from proximity to the poppy fields of neighboring Afghanistan, experts, addicts and government officials agree that addiction has lately emerged as a corrosive new symptom of the country's economic failure, a marker for despair.



Full story.

From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10408

posted 28 September 2005 02:26 PM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post
Coupled with the appaling Iranian attitude towards HIV/AIDS (I think the story was in the July-August
Foreign Policy), that is very scary.

From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 28 September 2005 02:35 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm trying to put those figures together. 2.8 per cent of the population as a whole, but 20 per cent of the population of Bam? Like, that is a very weird variation. Can anyone explain it?

I would also like to see the figures for the U.S. Perhaps, as with Bam, we would need to look at specific cities (New York City) rather than average things out over the country as a whole, but it has always been my understanding that the U.S. is the main market for opiates and other drugs of all kinds. The U.S. market is certainly what keeps the poppy fields a-blowin' in Afghanistan, and it is, of course, what still makes life hell for the people of Colombia (different drug, though).


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
blake 3:17
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10360

posted 28 September 2005 05:44 PM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Can't comment on the stats. Too ignorant of Iran to say more, other than it seems like young people are stuck between the fundamentalists and the free marketeers, with the latter at least providing or promising something. The primary left opposition in the last elections was abstension. Not necessarily wrong, but not exactly inspiring. So people reach for the best way out.

quote:
The U.S. market is certainly what keeps the poppy fields a-blowin' in Afghanistan, and it is, of course, what still makes life hell for the people of Colombia (different drug, though).

You mean coffee, right? Ha ha, huh huh, not so funny, ha...

I'm not so sure that the US as a market is so large for Afghanistan -- Eastern and Western Europe are much more likely. Powerful synthetic opiates are very common these days and seem the primary trend amongst opiate users in North America.

The UN's page of weblinks re: Afghanistan's opium trade.

[ 28 September 2005: Message edited by: blake 3:17 ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

   Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca