Islamic Republic of Iran


UNODC Iran participation in the 13th International Addiction Science Congress



UNODC Iran participated in the 13 th annual International Addiction Science Congress, held in Iran University of Medical Sciences on 21-23 August 2019. 

Each year, the International Addiction Science Congress gathers scientists and addiction experts from Iran and around the world.

The Congress was organized through the collaboration of several universities and institutes, particularly Iran University of Medical Sciences and Tehran University of Medical Sciences. It featured presentations by various experts and researchers, as well as symposia and workshops.  Prizes and awards were also given out to recognize the achievements made by 35 Iranian addiction researchers.  This year's theme, "Towards Science-based Decisions" was presented by the Congress' Scientific Secretary, Dr. Afarin Rahimi Movaghar.  Dr. Rahimi Movaghar, who is also the Director of the Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies (INCAS), called on all the participants to incorporate fine science-based decision making in their efforts. She defined the theme as a systematic approach to collecting facts and applying logical decision-making techniques. She also addressed the insufficient use of such decision-making approaches in the country.

At the opening ceremony, Professor Reza Malekzadeh, from the Department of Internal Medicine of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, shared his team's recent findings on the link between opium use and several cancer cases, including throat cancer. Moreover, at the opening ceremony, Mr. Alexander Fedulov, UNODC Iran Country Representative, delivered a speech and emphasized on the strong commitment of UNODC to work with its Iranian partners to combat drug addiction in the country. In his remarks, Mr. Fedulov expressed his and UNODC's deep appreciation for the focus of the Congress on an evidence-based approach to addressing the problem of drug addiction.


The Congress also featured presentations by officials from the Islamic Republic of Iran Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ). Dr. Saeed Montazerolmahdi, Deputy Director of Demand Reduction and Development at DCHQ, gave a presentation on the current status of drug addiction in Iran and outlined new opportunities for research and drug use treatment. The congress continued with Director General of Research and Training at DCHQ, Dr. Hamid Surami's presentation on the future of drugs and drug addiction in Iran. In his presentation, Dr. Sarami stressed that if interventions are not made, the supply of and demand for drugs in Iran are expected to increase in the next five years.

One of the Key note speakers of this year's addiction Congress was, Dr. Wadih Maalouf, the Global Programme Coordinator of the Drug Prevention and Health Branch at UNODC Headquarters. He gave a presentation on family skills programmes that UNODC, together with experts from the University of Manchester and Iowa State University, has developed for children and families to prevent substance abuse and other negative social outcomes. Among the programmes discussed was the Strong Families Programme. developed for families in challenged areas, the Strong Families Programme has been piloted in Asia, Africa, and Central America; and it will be implemented in Iran this fall. This year's congress also experienced the participation of Dr. Gelareh Mostashari, UNODC Iran Drug Demand Reduction Senior Expert. Dr. Mostashari was among the panellists for a session featuring presentations by young researchers on studies of addiction in Iranian women.