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DCH Targets Money-Laundering to Curb Drug Abuse
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DCH Targets Money-Laundering to Curb Drug Abuse

The Drug Control Headquarters (DCH) has stepped up its fight against money-laundering by setting up a special committee to revise the anti-money laundering law which was first adopted in 1997. Money laundering has been in the spotlight in recent months, with various officials sounding the alarm.  Alireza Jazini, deputy secretary-general of the DCH recently said the “daily turnover of small-scale drug trade is around $6 million.”  
In the past year, 555 tons of narcotics were seized and 271,000 drug traffickers and dealers were arrested,’’ Jazini said. He added that 150,000 websites which were in the business of promoting drug use were discovered and the perpetrators indicted.

  Treatment
Referring to efforts undertaken to treat drug addicts, Jazini said in the previous Iranian year (ended March 20), overall 730,000 addicts received treatment at 6,773 certified rehabilitation centers across the country. The rehab centers have been inspected “thousands of times” during the past year to ensure their services are standard, said Jazini, quoted by the Persian language newspaper Shargh.
Nearly 102 centers are active in checking the spread of communicable diseases including HIV-AIDS. The top reason for the spread of HIV continues to be needle sharing among drug users. There has been a 45% drop in the number of HIV cases linked to needle sharing.
Outreach programs include needle exchange programs under which used syringes are exchanged for an equal number of new syringes, and free post-treatment services for former addicts to stay clean. ‘’Last year, 21,000 people received the services and 103 mobile treatment teams reached out to addicts in informal settlements.”  
Providing employment for addicts after recovery was another issue that Jazini touched upon. ‘’In our centers in Tehran, 1,500 former addicts are receiving job training and 500 in other towns,’’ he said. For instance in Akhavan Job Training Center, 50 people have so far found employment and each day 120 recovered addicts are receiving vocational training on a daily basis. He said they are planning to increase the capacity of rehab centers from 2,000 to 3,000.
 Jazini said 279 drug-related deaths among women, were reported last year (ended March 20). The number of men who died during the same period was 2,468, showing a 3% decline. Of the calls made to the Addiction Help Hotline, 84% were from women who had questions related to methamphetamine; 295 labs active in manufacturing the synthetic meth drug were busted with the help of police.
He also warned about the new trends in drug abuse among the youth saying that 2.6 % of university students and 1% of school children engage in substance abuse.

  Settlement
Jazini noted several measures are being undertaken by the DCH and State Welfare Organization (SWO) to help former addicts lead normal, dignified lives. ‘’SWO has prepared 978 homes for recovered addicts with 343 homes already delivered.’’ A special fund has been allocated with the help of Imam Reza Mehr Fund and the government has spent around $10 million in the previous year to provide former addicts with primary health insurance.’’
Insurance can be used in all treatment centers and emergency rooms with priority for children, women, and people at high risk, especially those living in poor suburbs and skid rows.

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