Neishabour, Khorasan prov, Jan 22, IRNA -- A group of high-school students in the eastern city of Neishabour demonstrated against drug- use here Wednesday.
The 200-strong students group chanted slogans "sports is the enemy of addiction" and "illicit drugs never, never," and displayed their strong dislike and rejection of drug use.
A provincial Health Official Mansour Sadat Hosseinian also addressed the students saying that the menace of drug addiction has ruined many human lives and wasted public investments in manpower.
He contrasted the problem of drug addiction now with the past adding "presently, many youth are drug users, whereas in the past mostly older people consumed narcotics."
He further said that many people are under the impression that youth take drugs due to encouragements from their friends, "but, other factors including, curiosity, enjoyment, alleviating pain, forgetting personal problems, sense of excitement and pretense to adulthood all contribute to drug use among the youth."
At the end of the gathering, students issued a statement calling on the police to curb the activities of narcotics traffickers, and drug dealers throughout the country.
Iran has started an all-out effort to combat drug trafficking and addiction.
The magnitude of drug menace was recently alluded to statements by the Head of Iran Anti-Narcotics Headquarters Ali Hashemi when he said earlier in December that over 8,834 addicts died due to drug overdose between 1996 and 2000.
"These figure indicate that on average 1,472 addicts -- four daily -- have overdose in Iran during the six year period," he said.
Hashemi also pointed to 16,000 addicts becoming afflicted with the AIDS virus, cause by sharing contaminated needles.
He blamed an array of factors in prevalence of drug use including: lack of a homogeneous socio-economic development, bordering Afghanistan, situation in the national borders and missing opportunities in regional and international affairs as being among weaknesses of the anti-drug campaign.
"Unless a serious solution is found for an all out fight with drug addiction, the situation could pose a serious threat to the national security in the next decade," Hashemi underlined.
... Payvand News - 1/23/03 ... --