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This year, 80% of the callers were women of whom 5% were drugs addicts, 33% spouses of drug addicts and 29% mothers of illicit substance users.
This year, 80% of the callers were women of whom 5% were drugs addicts, 33% spouses of drug addicts and 29% mothers of illicit substance users.

Addiction Helpline Updated, Responds to 98% of Callers

Besides offering professional counseling services to addicts and their families, another main goal of the helpline is to collect information and statistics on addiction which can be used for improving prevention policies

Addiction Helpline Updated, Responds to 98% of Callers

In the first 10 months of the current fiscal year that ends in March, more than 330,000 calls were made to the national addiction helpline, and 320,000 (98.3%) callers were provided with professional counseling.
According to figures released by the Addiction Treatment and Prevention Office of the State Welfare Organization (SWO), most of the calls were about crystal meth (45%) and opioid and heroin, respectively.
Last year, from the 310,000 calls made, the office responded to 98.2%. This year, we have introduced an updated hotline system to improve access as it is found that some of the callers quit when the hotline is busy and thus fail to receive advice.
“With the new system, operators of the hotline (who are advisors and counselors) can make out the number of callers waiting to be answered, and therefore manage their time better,” said Majid Rezazadeh, head of the office, IRNA reported.
This year, 80% of the callers were women of whom 5% were drug addicts; 33% spouses of drug addicts; and 29% mothers of illicit substance users, he said. Most of the callers were concerned about the addiction habit of loved ones.
Men constituted the remaining 20% and among them 95% were drug abusers. “They usually ask questions about treatment services and side effects of ‘tramadol,’ a painkiller. Most of them are between the ages 30-40,” Rezazadeh said.

  From 8am to 8pm
The hotline 09628 answers all questions relating to addiction from 8 am to 8 pm.
The most number of calls were from the provinces of Tehran, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Mazandaran, Markazi, and North Khorasan. Provinces with the least number of calls made to the helpline were Ilam, Kohgiluye-Boyer Ahmad and Yazd.
“We cannot say that the provinces with the highest number of calls necessarily have the highest addiction rates. People in these provinces could be more aware of the problem of drug abuse and consequently concerned about its negative consequences,” he said.
Regarding interventions provided on the hotline, he said counseling on treatment services for addicts, admission to rehab centers, and the methods to encourage family members to seek treatment for their loved ones, are provided. Some had questions on how they can approach the police to round up junkies in their neighborhoods.
Besides offering professional counseling to addicts and their families, another main goal of the helpline is to collect information and statistics on addiction in the country which can be used for improving prevention policies.
 According to the Health Ministry, 3,000 people annually lose their lives as a result of drug addiction. The most popular drugs are opium, heroin and crystal meth (methamphetamine). There are around two million addicts in the country, 10% of whom are women.
Around 350,000 people are regular users of crystal meth as per official figures released by the Iran Drug Control Headquarters (IDCH). Since 2005, crystal meth abuse has increased from 3% to 26%. IDCH has warned that crystal meth is far more dangerous than traditional narcotics like opium.
Addiction rate is highest among 15-29 age groups.

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