World Cup 2018 – Drug Facts – Day 3 Iran

Football is one of the national sports of Iran. However, a recent study highlighted that football players and coaches have poor knowledge about doping in Iran.

Opium in Iran has long been used for medical and recreational purposes and to this day Iran has a very serious drug problem. Iran’s border with Afghanistan, the world’s largest opium producer, contributes heavily to the countries problem. Iran lies directly in the path of the world’s largest flow of heroin, with approximately 140 metric tons coming in each year from Afghanistan. Yet only 23% of it is seized each year.

Estimates show that between two and three million Iranians suffer from a drug addiction and eight to ten people die every day due to drug use. The average age of a drug user in Iran is just 14 – 16 years old and drug addiction affects people from all social classes.

Experts have described Iran’s heroin addiction problem as “the worst in the world” as a 2006 report estimated that 8% of the adult population was addicted to drugs and in 2009 it was reported that each year 130,000 new people become addicts. From the 170,000people incarcerated in Iran, 68,000 are there for drug trafficking and 32,000 are there for addiction reasons.

In Zahedan, an Iranian town near Pakistan, 3 grams of opium can be purchased for 10,000 Iranian rials ($1 USD) and 1kg costs the equivalent of $300. In Zabol, near the Afghanistan border, $1 would buy 5 grams of Afghan opium. Although alcohol is haram(forbidden by Islam) and tightly controlled by the Iranian Government, both this and the low cost for drugs have contributed to the growing number of drug addicts in the country. The UNODC estimate 450 metric tons of opium are consumed in Iran each year.

Randox Toxicology offer the most comprehensive Drugs of Abuse (DoA) test menu across multiple forensic matrices. Our DoA II panel can detect opium and generic opioids. Our level of expertise in toxicology research and development allows us to adapt quickly to ever changing market influences and develop assays for current and novel drug trends.

To find out more about the DoA II panel and our other available test menus, email or visit Also, don’t forget to check back tomorrow when we look into another World Cup competing country.

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