Iran: Highest Opiate Use in the World

U.S. State Department report claims Iran has the globe’s highest rates of opiate drug abuse. 

Iran suffers from the highest levels of opiate drug use in the world, a U.S. government report has claimed.

The 2010 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released by the U.S. State Department concluded that with its close proximity to Afghanistan, Iran has the highest levels of heroin and opium use in the world.

“Iran was a producer for many years until the [1979 Islamic] revolution, when it was eradicated, but they could not do away with the addiction,” Thomas Pietschmann, Research Officer with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, told The Media Line. 

“It’s simply due to Afghanistan,” he continued. “Opium and heroin [from Afghanistan] are exported via Iran to turkey and then to Europe. They also supply the goods to the Iranian markets, not very much smaller than the markets of Western Europe.” 

Afghanistan’s share of the world opium market is estimated to be between 87 and 93 percent.

According the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are around 5 million opiate users in Western Europe compared to 1.4 million in Iran but while heroin is commonly used in Europe, opium use is more widespread in Iran.        


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