NCRI - On April 9, 2017, the Iranian state run newspaper “Qanoon” wrote a sad story about addicted mothers and the fetuses they carry entitled, “Emergence of ever greater variety of social pathologies have resulted in many problems in recent years”.
The newspaper stated, “Perhaps years earlier, it was just the addicted men and the homeless were considered biggest problems of the society, but today the damage has increased and expanded, which one witnesses in the increasing number of addicted women, homeless, child labor, street children, abuse of children, and especially the addicted babies.”
The same source cited the confession of one of a state official, who identified 780 uncovered infants and children influenced by drugs during the first 9 months of 2016 and adds, "In this period, 384 infants are born influenced by addicting drugs.” And finally, while admitting that "social pathologies have taken new shape”, the article asks: "Addicted women and men nowadays not only addicted themselves but they are also giving birth to addicted children who may be addicted and carriers of many diseases, including HIV.
The “Qanoon” newspaper adds, “These children are unaware of the dangers that they might present for the society and are sent to the streets, some as beggars and some as street vendors.... But what are the laws in this area? Considering these kids are afflicted with such problems and unwantedly become addicted with the expectation of negative future for them, are there laws in place to protect these kids?”
Another state-run newspaper “Etemad” writing on the topic in June 2016 noted, “As unresolved problems of addicted children demonstrates, Tehran does not have a facility for treatment of the addiction issues of these kids.” In 2001, the assistant dean of Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences University conducted a study on 585 street children, and said: "41 percent of these children have been involved in drug dealing.”
In 2011, the Center for HIV Research of Health Ministry, who conducted research on 1,000 of those involved in child labor and street kids in Tehran, announced: “15% of the study subjects were addicted and 9% were HIV infected.”
In 2012, Welfare organization, who conducted research to measure very dangerous behavior of child labor and street kids and their consumption of drugs, announced, “17.3% of the children had consumed alcohol respectively at least once and 7% daily. 23% of these children had taken drugs or stimulants at least once. 56% of the children had used drugs before age 14.”
In 2013, University of Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, who conducted research on 289 street children in Tehran to investigate their substance abuse habits over a period of six months, said: "26 cases of cigarettes - 9 Hookah - 7 white alcohol - 5 people Stacy and ice - 7 opium - 2 methadone – and one person was a heroin and crack addict.”
The same source went on adding: "Imam Ali’s Student Relief Society, a non-governmental NGO, has recorded information on 1,700 children referred to their offices to get support services during five months in 2014. After obtaining the data on 1,700 children in 10 provinces of Tehran, Alborz, Mazandaran, Khorasan, South Khorasan, Bushehr, Hormozgan, Golestan, Zanjan and Kerman, it was found that 116 of these were addicted (27% female and 73% male). Most of the addicted children were in the age group 7 to 13 years old. 54% were forced into addiction, 42% of children were addicted due to breast feeding and 35% were addicted due to family addiction. 29% of the children were dropouts because of addiction. Children had addicted parents; 80% fathers and 62% mothers. 34% were born addicted and 54% of children were direct drug users. The registration records of these children, which voluntarily approached this NGO, were kept in detail, however, the social workers had observed and reported on their frequent visits of at least 200 more addicted children, which were not part of project, and have not been reported in this investigation.”
Governmental Sky News Agency’s site quoted on June 14, 2016 the head researcher of the project; "The catastrophic situation of addicted children in their affected areas in Iran” is uncovering its disastrous consequences. "The results showed us that the provinces of Tehran, Khorasan, and Razavi had largest numbers of addicted children, but the condition in South Khorasan - Birjand - was even worse.” Recovering and treating addiction in children is a complicated and complex subject because children, newborn and children under seven years of age, have no understanding of their condition, much less the ability to change their situation.”
According to above mentioned media in Tehran, Loqman’s Hospital, with difficulty but ultimately accepted only addicted children with symptoms of a hangover or euphoria or suffering from overdose for hospitalization and treatment. But in South Khorasan, no hospital accepted addicted children, even the one hospital, which admitted addicted children, did not have any trained medical and nursing staff to care for such patients. We had to hire a nurse for these children and, because the hospital did not even provide medication, when children had seizures our nurse did not know what to do. Addicted children without birth certificates would not be hospitalized at all. We had to in all provinces, as a last resort, to choose the adult camps, while accepting drug addicts less than 18 years was banned in camps.
Sky News adds: “We saw that the number of addicted children is rapidly rising. We identified initially 30 addicted children in September 2014, but within five months, it had reached up to 116 people by the end of the study.”
The same source quoting from the same investigator on the present situation of those children in 2014 study, noted, "Today, the situation of 14 out of 116 people - male and female - has deteriorated because of an increased amount consumption of multi drugs. 16 males became homeless and were out of our reach. Five of these children, females 13 to 16 years of age, due to their addiction habits became prostitutes, two of these became pregnant and gave birth, and one of the newborns died last year. Five of them died due to drug use or damages during material procurement. Three escaped, and one committed suicide.” Other non-state actors are reporting evidence of same incidents among addicted children and lack of addiction treatment medical centers to treat these children”.
The Director General of Tehran’s Province Social Welfare admits, “80-90% of addicted orphan babies lose their lives in the hospitals, their treatment process stops at their death, deaths of these children in the nurseries are normal and we are not able to reduce the mortality rate.” (Government Salamat Online site on July 18, 2016).
State-run media do not identify the misogyny state laws as the main cause of this phenomenon and the inhumane treatment of women, where they are not supported emotionally or economically, the stress and insecurity of women has gone up and these factors cause women to turn to risky behaviors, such as addiction."