Iran to Benefit Form England's Experience in Anti-Drug Campaign

November 3, 2002 - 0:0
LONDON -- Head of Iran's Anti Drug Campaign Headquarters Ali Hashemi said here on Friday that Iran will take full advantage of England's experience in campaign against narcotic drugs trafficking and methods applied by the British officers in lowering t he demand to such drugs.

Hashemi who is visiting England officially, told IRNA that the Iranian authorities have exchanged viewpoints with their British counterparts in that regard and have reached agreements over several axes already.

He said that one of the axes of cooperation with the British is taking advantage of the experience of their experts in training the technicians to work at centers for "social therapy" of the addicts in Iran.

Hashemi said there are so far 12 such centers, which have already started their activities, thanks to the close cooperation of the Welfare Organization, across Iran.

The official said that Iran will also be benefited from England's experience in the establishment of "social therapy courts for the addicts", and the implementation of projects aimed at lowering the negative social and personal effects of addiction at edu cational centers, based on the signed agreements with the British official recently.

Hashemi said that the "drug-free prison" project already implemented at one detainment center in Tehran and a token addiction prevention project run at one of Tehran's municipality districts, are two other fields proposed for bilateral cooperation by the Iranian anti-drug campaign officers to their British counterparts.

The Aanti-Drug Campaign Headquarters director said that the Iranian officials have also exchanged up-to-date data on new narcotic drugs and their trafficking routes with the British officials during their visit.

Hashemi said he had held constructive talks with the British National Health Care Organization, and also the School of Medical Sciences of the Saint George Hospital of London on methods applied in lowering the demand for narcotics.

He noted, "based on our talks, also a scientific and research cooperation contract was signed between the University of Tehran and the School of Medical Sciences of the Saint George Hospital.

The official referred to injection method as a serious and dangerous problem with which Iran is entangled, arguing that some 66 percent of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) victims in Iran are those who acquired the deadly HIV virus through u sing infected syringes, and that is why countering the problem is an urgent need. Hashemi added, "by adopting effective methods, England has succeeded to decrease the percentage of deaths due to injection with infected syringes down to one percent, which is the reason why taking advantage of the experience of the British in this regard is of prime importance for us."

He finally considered cooperation with England and other European countries in Iran's restless campaign against narcotic drugs addiction and trafficking, a step in expansion of the international efforts aimed at uprooting the problem.