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Monday, June 27, 2011
Rehabilitated drug addicts show nothing is impossible
By Siavash Shekarian
On Sunday, a few kilometers from Tehran’s downtown area, Azadi sports arena was overcrowded once again -- seats available for 12,000 but 20,000 were eager to get in -- attendants, with hearts full of love, eyes full of glory and hands wrapped around the green, white and red of the Islamic Republic of Iran, were all ready to celebrate their freedom together -- freedom gained through a hard and demanding journey from the valleys of addiction.
Sunday’s 20,000 attendees were only a group of less than 20 people merely a few years ago in the suburbs of Tehran equipped with nothing but their faith. Faith in a battle they felt was worth fighting. The twenty people loved and supported each other towards a re-birth into a world of dedication to help others in need and Sunday June 26 was nothing but an evidence of how possible is recovery from the drug usage.
Drug Control Headquarters assigned Rebirth Society -- one of the biggest NGOs founded and run by recovered drug users -- to organize this event to further advocate the point that drug treatment and recovery are possible and their evident success in carrying out the task further proves that recovered drug users not only are as able people as the rest of the society but in a way are more persistent in the pursuit of their achievement. The special guest of the day, the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, also attested to this point by declaring support for the rehabilitated society by saying: “Ahmadinejad, as a brother will be with you helping solve your problems and the government will proudly support you in every step of the way”.
The president extended his support by promising to put the rehabilitated society in priority for housing and employment. The guest list was not limited to the president but also included the interior minister, deputy director of Drug Control Headquarters, director of state welfare organization, representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, representatives from the embassies of Japan, Norway, Sweden, England and other countries who were all present to support this human movement.
Sunday’s scene is not only a concrete proof for those people who think addiction is an unsolvable problem that it can be solved but also for those who stigmatize and discriminate against the rehabilitated drug addicts -- together they showed the world that recovery is achievable and nothing is impossible. Now it is our social responsibility as the general population to not only understand the problem of drug use by educating ourselves by valid references rather than surrendering our ears to the false words of people on the street but also to support our fellow citizens dealing with this problem and helping them towards recovery process hoping that next year we could have the same celebration in the Azadi stadium with 100,000-seat capacity while 200,000 are eager to get in!