Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff 

INU - Recent reports from Iran have detailed the horrific situation of pregnant women addicted to drugs highlighting an increasingly worrying social situation. 

Qanoon, a state-run newspaper, reported that the biggest social problems in Iran were drug addicted men and homeless people, but now there are more and more addicted women giving birth to babies that are brought into the world already suffering from addiction.

It stated that this phenomenon is causing serious social consequences such as a rising number of homeless people, street children, child labour and the abuse of children. There has also been an increase in the number of diseases among these children, HIV in particular. 

A state official has carried out a study indicating that during the first nine months of 2016 there were 384 children born addicted to drugs out of 780 children.

The newspaper questions the laws protecting these children saying that they are born with a severe disadvantage and nothing has been put into place to protect them. 

Qanoon, another state-run newspaper, also questioned this, stating that there are no facilities in Tehran to treat such issues. 

In 2011, a department of the Health Ministry conducted research into the problems faced by street kids in the capital. 15% of the 1,000 children in the study were addicted to drugs and 9% had HIV. 

A year later, another study was carried out by the Welfare organization who discovered that 17.3% of street children has consumed alcohol at least one, and 7% on a daily basis. Twenty-three percent of those in the study has tried drugs on at least one occasion and half had used them before the age of 14.

The University of Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences conducted research on the substance abuse of street children. Of the 289 children in the study, 29 had smoked cigarettes, 7 had taken alcohol, 7 had taken opium, 2 had taken methadone and one of them was addicted to crack and heroin.

The situation is alarming and very complicated to remedy due to the fact that children are not protected by laws and because young children, and much less babies, do not have the maturity to understand their condition and even less capability of changing their circumstances. 

Very few hospitals accept addicted children simply because they do not have the knowledge or personnel to deal with such cases. 

Sky News carried out a study that indicates a large number of deaths occur when addicted mothers give birth. 

A social welfare director from Tehran said that between 80% and 90% of addicted born orphan babies will die in hospital. He said: “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.” 

This treatment and neglect of women is another example of the misogyny that rules Iran. These women are living with inhumane neglect and laws need to protect them.

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