Islamic Republic of Iran


UNODC Conducts Training on Drug Prevention and Treatment for Civil Societies in Shiraz


Many countries face the problem of drug use and subsequent complications of its use intertwined with developmental and economic problems, hindering them to achieve sustainable development. In order to tackle this obstacle, governments are inclined towards the support provided by the Civil Societies (CSOs) and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The problem of drugs is vast, deep, complex and multifaceted, and no government can control it without the help of civil societies. The important role NGOs play is due to their proximity and presence in the society in guiding and organizing the people’s power to curb the problem of drug use. These organizations are increasingly active in the implementation of programs and global policies to curb the substance problem. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) has always been emphasizing on the importance of improving the role of civil society organizations in dealing with the global problem of drugs. NGOs and CSOs develop and implement programs in various fields of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and reduction of substance abuse in various countries. Many governments have described the role of these organizations in reducing the demand for substances and harm reduction as very important and valuable. For more than two decades, non-governmental organizations, CSOs, volunteer forces and community-based organizations have entered the field of drug demand and harm reduction in Iran. In recent years, strategic planning centered on a community-oriented approach and promoting the role of public participation has been the most important approach in Iran.

Given the important role of national CSOs and NGOs active in the field of drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Iran in cooperation with the Public Participation and Civil Society Organization Department of the Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) organized the ‘Training on drug prevention and treatment among children and their families for CSOs’ on 21–23 February in Shiraz. Mr. Alexander Fedulov, UNODC Iran Country Representative, addressed the representatives of various NGOs and CSOs in the meeting by highlighting the significance of drug demand reduction activities mounting directed towards reducing illicit drug demand. He referred to the importance of drug use prevention and treatment not only among children but also among family members affected by drug use.

Highlighting the positive measures taken in the past decades and the required further steps, Mr. Fedulov stated that relevant authorities should give higher emphasis to the involvement of non-governmental organizations in drug demand reduction and HIV related issues and consider this contribution as crucial for the achievement of commendable results in the country. Referring to the role and mandate of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), he stated that UNODC considers community empowerment and the involvement of the civil society and the NGOs in the areas related to drug demand reduction and HIV prevention and care as a key element in drug control.

This training was designed in a way that it used the capacities of the national trainers in the area of drug demand reduction, treatment and psychosocial interventions. National trainers covered a range of topics from overview on the problem of drugs, theory of prevention and health promotion, treatment of drug use disorders among children and youth, motivational interventions for parents with drug use disorders, psychosocial interventions in the treatment and rehabilitation of drug use disorders, with special emphasis on women and families, to vocational training and employment in the rehabilitation of drug use. Each session provided a platform for NGOs to share their experiences and challenges in each area and brainstorm possible solutions.

The European Union generously funded the implementation of this activity in Shiraz.