Narcotic Production Falls, But No Relief

Narcotic Production Falls, But No Relief Narcotic Production Falls, But No Relief

In a recent meeting with Central Asian heads of national anti-narcotic agencies, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, said despite the UN reports that narcotics production in 2015 has dropped, drug trafficking in the region has intensified, and called on Central Asian states to enhance collaboration in the fight against illegal drugs.

Fazli, who is also secretary general of Iran’s Drug Control Headquarters (DCH), said terrorism and extremism in the region have further complicated the fight against illicit drugs  as the money earned through drug trafficking is often used to prop up extremist groups, reports ISNA.

“The spread of terrorism and insecurity further pave the way for smugglers to expand their trade.”

The drop in production of narcotics by 33,000 tons is likely to cause a price rise, encouraging smugglers to release into the market hoarded illicit drugs and increase illegal trade across the borders, he noted.  

In 95 countries, 500 new psychoactive substances have been identified, Fazli said. “Unfortunately there is not enough awareness over the spread and dangers of these drugs.”

Iran is making efforts to revise its counter-narcotics policies by passing a series of tough legislations on psychoactive drugs such as Amphetamine and Methamphetamine, control over the drugs delivery and issues of money laundering and illegal substances.

“We have recently established a central database to counter electronic crimes and survey the number of opium users, in a plan to combat organized crime.”

He said the main focus is to curtail the supply of narcotics by strengthening border control.

 Preventive Measures

In the first nine months of 2015, nearly 1875 raids were conducted and 2284 smuggling bands demolished; 189 narcotic manufacturing units were destroyed and 479,000 tons of illegal drugs and 782 weapons were confiscated. Unfortunately, the operations claimed the lives of 14 members of the police forces.

The national document on prevention of addiction is the country’s roadmap in addressing the issue of drug abuse and its prevention. It is under implementation for the past four years. The program’s target is to oversee 40% of the country’s population, particularly vulnerable sections and the youth.

Presently, around 7,000 centers work for the prevention and treatment of mental and physical injuries as a result of drug abuse, and provided services to 700 people in 2014.