The number of drug addicts in Iran has more than doubled in six years, with opium the country’s most popular narcotic, local media reported Sunday.
“There are about 2.8 million people regularly consuming drugs” in the country of 80 million people, Drug Control Organisation spokesman Parviz Afshar told the ISNA news agency.
Citing experts from the health ministry, Iran’s Welfare Organisation and his own agency, Afshar said the number of drug users was up from 1.3 million six years ago.
He said opium made up 67 percent of consumption, with marijuana and its derivatives accounting for 12 percent and methamphetamine around 8 percent of the total.
“Opium is still the most popular (drug) and methamphetamine use has dropped significantly,” he said.
Iran’s neighbour Afghanistan produces some 90 percent of the world’s opium, which is extracted from poppy resin and refined to make heroin.
Iran is a major transit point for Afghan-produced opiates heading to Europe and beyond.
Opium production surged significantly after the United…