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Free Medical Care for Pregnant Addicts

The present rehab clinic is the first in the country to adopt models that are not only specific to women but also to each individual’s needs.The present rehab clinic is the first in the country to adopt models that are not only specific to women but also to each individual’s needs.

The first residential-medical center for pregnant drug addicts officially began work in the rehabilitation faculty of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences on Wednesday.

The center, which seeks to help prevent birth of addicted children, has been established by “Tavallod-e Dobareh” Charity Association and is licensed by the security police, the interior and health ministries and the Social Welfare Organization, the Persian-language newspaper ‘Iran’ reported.

With 20 beds, the 24-hour clinic receives volunteer addicts and offers medical treatment lasting seven days to 21 days and allows them to stay for up to three months depending on the manager’s judgment.

Although the center provides inpatient care, it only admits addicts who are eligible for outpatient treatment and have no emergency medical or mental condition but need inpatient services due to their inappropriate living place or failure in outpatient treatment.

The medical center admits and dismisses the patients at their will and is not authorized to keep them by force. A prominent feature of the center is the nursery where the women’s infants and children can be looked after while mothers get treatment.

Existing addiction prevention programs and treatment models are aimed at males and their needs while the population of women addicts is on the rise.

According to the deputy secretary general of Iran’s Drug Control Headquarters, women now constitute 10% of the drug users. “The number of women addicts has doubled since last year and is expected to grow evermore as synthetic drugs continue to lure women,” said Ali Mo’ayyedi.

The present rehab clinic is the first in the country to adopt models that are not only specific to women but also to each individual’s needs. It also provides social support even after dismissal from the hospital.  

The director of the charity association says his team had waited for the issuance of the permit for six months and now counts on government assistance to expand its activities.

“Our operations are in line with the Health Ministry’s instructions to provide specialized services for pregnant addicts because of their particular conditions,” said Abbas Deilamizadeh.

He added that the fist mobile center for women will be launched soon in north and northwestern Tehran.

The deputy health minister, who was present at the inauguration, pointed to the increasing number of addicted infants saying that the treatment of pregnant women and their children after birth has become a serious dilemma for the officials.

“We will make attempts to exploit public potential in combating drug abuse and protecting rehabilitated addicts,” said Mohammad Hadi Ayazi.

Mo’ayyedi also pointed to the free insurance coverage for poor and needy addicts that became law in 2010 tasking the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare to cover the basic costs of rehabilitation.

“Since 2013, almost 300 billion rials ($8.5 million) was earmarked for the addicts’ insurance coverage, but it is not clear what happened to the money,” he said, the Persian Daily ‘Etemad’ reported.

According to Mohammad Javad Kabir, head of the national Health Insurance Organization, 10,000 narcotic users were provided insurance cover last year but Mo’ayyedi says “this number simply  cannot be traced.”

Financialtribune.com