Time for Int’l Action to Curb Demand for Narcotics

Time for Int’l Action to Curb Demand for NarcoticsTime for Int’l Action to Curb Demand for Narcotics

P resident Hassan Rouhani, in a message to a congress on the International Day Against Drugs, called on the comity of nations to share experience in fighting the worsening narco scourge by helping reduce demand for illegal drugs and lessen related vulnerabilities.

The World Drug Day provides “an opportunity for raising awareness and drawing public support against the destructive harm of narcotic drugs as well as offering mechanisms in the relentless campaign against the immense social menace,” he said.

The president’s message was read out by Minister of Interior Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli at the IRIB International Conference Center on Saturday, IRNA reported.

The president said, “Unfortunately, the youth who are instrumental for the future development of the country are among the first victims of illicit drugs. Due to Iran’s proximity to Afghanistan, the main source of opium cultivation and production and consequently, criminal activities, including organized and transnational crime, our youth are exposed to costly social harm and the destructive outcomes of addiction and drug trafficking.”

Iran has been exposed to the greatest human losses and the harmful consequences of the drug trade. Currently, the Islamic Republic of Iran, by using local scientific capacities and with the participation of NGOs, has devised comprehensive preventive plans for the treatment and rehabilitation of victims of drug abuse, he said.

Rouhani appreciated those involved in organizing the ceremony to honor the memory of more than 3,700 martyrs and 12,000 brave disabled people in the country in this grave campaign, and paying homage to all those who lost their lives throughout the world in the fight against drugs.

 Narcotics Destroyed

Rahmani Fazli said more than 100 tons of illegal drugs in 23 provinces of the country were destroyed on Saturday. Nearly 13, 12, 6 and 2 tons of narcotics were burned in Alborz, Shiraz, Isfahan and Yazd provinces respectively.

“More than 97% of the people living in the country are not addicted to illegal drugs and the drug abuse rate is half the global average; however even this rate is high for us and we will spare no efforts to reduce it,” he said.

He also pointed to Iran’s geographical proximity to Afghanistan, where more than 80% of traditional drugs are produced, and said “Iran as a transit route for drugs, faces the greatest threats while receives the least international support and cooperation.”

“If we get continued cooperation from various countries and especially international organizations like the United Nations, certainly we can develop policies against substance abuse including implementation of ‘alternative livelihood’ projects in Afghanistan’s poppy-producing provinces.

The World Drug Day is observed on June 26 annually. In Iran,  the Drug Week commences on June 27.