IDCH spokesman: Forex rate hikes not affecting addicts’ consumption pattern in Iran

Tehran, Sept 23, IRNA - Unfavorable economic conditions and the hike in forex rates in domestic market have failed to significantly impact prices of illegal drugs and the consumption pattern of addicts, said the spokesman of Iran Drug Control Headquarters (IDCH) on Saturday.

Parviz Afshar added following the negative changes in Iran’s economic condition, there has been no sudden or rapid change in the consumption pattern for illegal drugs, IRNA reported.

He said of course no comprehensive study has been conducted in this field.

“When there is a reduction in people’s purchasing power, some fail to buy things sold even at previous prices. Thus, as an expert, I predict that [Iranian] addicts will [due to high prices] will be more inclined to use cheaper drugs such as marijuana. High demand, however, may lead to an increase in the price of marijuana [in the near future].”

Narcotics’ production in Afghanistan — Iran’s eastern neighbor and the world’s biggest producer of opioid-based materials — has reached 9,000 tons [per year] from 4,500 tons [per annum], he said, adding, this, however, is the amount announced by Afghans and international organizations.

“Our investigations in Iran shows that narcotics production in Afghanistan currently reaches up to 12,000 tons per year. Therefore, given the increase in supply of illegal drugs, their prices have not undergone any significant change.”

Afshar said addicts fall into three categories: 1. Those who use narcotics (opium, heroin and morphine), 2. Those who take stimulants (methamphetamine) and 3. Those who try hallucinogens (lysergic acid diethylamide).

He noted that opium and its byproducts have the highest consumption rate in Iran, as 65 percent of addicts in the country use them.

At present, Afshar said, methamphetamine consumption has declined from 36 percent to 8.2 percent in Iran as marijuana is gaining greater popularity, ranking second, following opium, in the rate of consumption by Iranian addicts.

Earlier, Saeed Safatian, the head of a working group on drugs in Iran’s Expediency Council, said despite recent fluctuations in forex rates in the domestic market, while everybody expected illegal drugs’ prices to double, they did not rise significantly as dealers control the prices irrespective of the country’s unfavorable economic condition.

He said by increasing supply and controlling prices, they generate greater profit.

The number of addicts in Iran stands at 2.8 million.

Source: Iran Daily

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