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Iran official raises alarm over drug abuse in government

The deputy at Iran's drug prevention agency recently estimated that half of government employees may be using drugs.
Handcuffed suspects sit on the ground after officers arrest and detain suspected drug users and dealers during a sweep in a southern neighbourhood of Tehran April 7, 2009. Iran lies in the middle of the transit route of drugs from Afghanistan to Europe. REUTERS/Jamejam Online/Chavosh Homavandi (IRAN CONFLICT SOCIETY POLITICS) - RTXDQR5

TEHRAN, Iran — Babak Dinparast, the Deputy for Treatment and Prevention of the Iranian Anti-Drug Agency, visited the National Institute of Addiction Studies at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences two weeks ago. During the visit, he released the latest statistics on the rate of addiction in Iran. The numbers can potentially be considered alarming for the government and administrative structure: Dinparast said 53% of the drug users in Iran are employed by government agencies and organizations.

In March of last year, Dinparast had given the number of people in Iran suffering from drug addiction to be 3.5 million people. However, he had said that most of these were recreational users. On the number of serious users, he said “based on the latest count which was collected with the help of Jahad Daneshgahi (The Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research), we have 1,325,000 addicts.”

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