Women Make Majority of Calls to Helpline

Women Make Majority of Calls to Helpline  Women Make Majority of Calls to Helpline

More than 402,000 people called the national addiction helpline seeking assistance, and the most frequently-asked questions were related to the drug methamphetamine, followed by opium and heroin, in the previous calendar year (ended March 20).

“Of this number, 390,000 calls (97.5%) were responded,” said Majid Rezazadeh, director of the Addiction Prevention Center at the State Welfare Organization (SWO), reports ISNA.

Women made 84% of the calls, 6% of whom were addicts themselves, but a majority was seeking help for their spouses and children. In the first month of the current year (started March 21), 25,500 calls were received, of which 92% (23,500) were rendered assistance. Methamphetamine rehabilitation services, referral to rehabilitation centers, calls for arresting troublesome addicts among families and friends, and methods to convince drug abusers to seek rehabilitation, were the common requests.

Rezazadeh noted that the national addiction helpline program was designed to help provide guidance and consultation for drug abusers and their families. “The helpline also keeps track of trading in illicit drugs to chalk out action plans to curb the menace,” he added.

The helpline was able to assist in preventive intervention in 46% of the cases, treatment counseling in 26%, and providing referrals to the relevant institutions of the SWO and health ministry in 32% of the cases. “It is noteworthy that a person may have received some or all of the services, depending on their needs,” he pointed out.

Majority of the calls were made from North Khorasan, followed by Razavi Khorasan, and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari provinces, “indicating success in creation of awareness and dissemination of information about the national helpline.” Ilam, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Kurdistan had the lowest number of phone calls to the helpline.

Earlier, alcohol abuse was “almost never a topic of the calls” to the helpline. However, as public awareness increases about alcohol abuse, more calls address the issue. Moderate alcohol abusers are referred to rehab centers, but heavy alcohol abusers must receive inpatient care at hospitals. “To tackle the problem adequately, it is essential to establish a specialized alcohol rehabilitation center,” Rezazadeh said.

The national addiction helpline is accessible through telephone number 09628 everyday between 8am – 8pm.

 Alcohol Rehab

Specialized outpatient services for alcohol abuse are underway in 150 rehabilitation centers across the country, in joint efforts between the health ministry and the Social Council of the interior ministry.

The research-treatment plan comprises workshops by professionals in the rehab centers, “at the end of which the center receives permission to commence alcohol rehabilitation,” said Ali Farhoudian, director of Research on Drug Abuse and Addiction Center of the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, quoted by IRNA.

Treatment quality and performance of the centers will be evaluated regularly, and on successful treatment of patients within 18 months, the centers will receive a two-year extension. It is estimated there are nearly 200,000 alcohol addicts in Iran.