Special Centers for Underage Addicts

Setting up the rehab centers for the  youth is an effective step to help alleviate the impact of addiction.Setting up the rehab centers for the  youth is an effective step to help alleviate the impact of addiction.

Rehabilitation centers for young drug addicts under the age of 18 have been launched over the past two years in seven provinces and their treatment costs are covered by the Iran Drug Control Headquarters.

“Children and young adults in provinces without a center will be directed to the closest facility after it is determined that they need rehabilitation services,” Parviz Afshar, deputy for Drug Demand Reduction Office at IDCHQ, told ILNA.

He did not name the provinces where the rehab centers have been set up. However, Majid Rezazadeh, head of the addiction prevention center at the State Welfare Organization, said last month that the first such center was piloted in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, naming Alborz, South Khorasan and Tehran as other provinces.

Afshar said recuing addiction among the youth is a priority for his office even though their numbers are small.

“Studies have shown that the population of drug-addicted children is very small. But even that is unacceptable; therefore,” he said without providing data.

Nevertheless, the data if available would hardly be reliable simply because the relevant study was conducted on students and does not include populations who do not attend school. It is said that most young people involved in drug abuse are children working as laborers, orphans and those with irresponsible parents. Many are born addicted.

“Setting up such centers for the youth is a new and effective step to help alleviate the impacts of addiction,” said Afshar.

According to the official, children’s dependence on drugs is not often severe enough to require inpatient treatment, but if therapists feel the need for hospitalization, all the expenses are paid by the IDCHQ.

Drug addicts are usually covered by Salamat insurance that pays a monthly rehab subsidy of 840,000 rials ($22) to the centers for their treatment. Children and women are given priority of insurance coverage.

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