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Tehran police disputes unreal figures of ecstasy use

A Tehran police official said on Wednesday that the figures released on ecstasy use in the country are incorrect. "Some official and experts utter data which are not true", said Colonel Qodratollah Mahmoudi, IRNA reported.

He told IRNA that the figure obtained by the police does not correspond to the number mentioned in some drug-related seminars. Thus ecstasy in the country is not yet at alarming levels. "Some experts says that close to 60,000 people use the highly addictive pills, which is untrue," the police commander added.

He said the main reason is that the pills are imported and not produced domestically which mitigates its consumption.

He, however, warned on serious ramification on the changing pattern of drugs in the country from a more traditional form to chemical and industrial substances.

Mahmoudi said the police have confiscated over 15,000 ecstasy pills in the greater Tehran area in the current Iranian year (started March 21).

Secretary General of Drug Control Headquarters (DCH) Ali Hashemi said here last month that over 13 million people in Iran are involved one way or another with narcotics.

Hashemi, speaking at a gathering of provincial administrative officials, said the direct and indirect costs associated with drugs in Iran is rls 45,000 billion.

He said the crimes-relate drugs can be categorized as organized crimes, "to which an array of offense are connected."

"Of 200,000 addicts in Iran, 1.2 million are hard core addicts and the rest are occasional users of illicit drugs."

Iran has seized over 87 percent of morphine and 30 percent of heroin supplies in the world in the past five years," he added.

He said 80 percent of illicit drug in the world originates from Afghanistan and "over 1.5 million hectares in the world are used in drug cultivation."

Hashemi said the average age of drug users is between 29-33 years and "Iranian addicts use over 800-100 tons of drugs annually."

... Payvand News - 3/4/04 ... --

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