Islamic Republic of Iran


UNODC Strengthens Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) Treatment Approaches in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


stories/11sep2014-addiction-cong/11sep2014addiction-cong1.jpg "Behavioral Drug and Risk Counselling (BDRC)" for women with methamphetamine use disorder in Tehran

Soheila is a user of Shishee or crystal methamphetamine. She is sitting in a therapy room in Tehran. She suffered from depression and has scars from previous attempts at suicide. Since her first visit to this therapy room, she has undergone positive changes and has improved considerably. The fact that she completed the tenth session of "Behavioral Drug and Risk Counselling (BDRC)" is significant proof of her commitment to treatment and her determination to changing her meth centric life style to one that is drug free.
BDRC is an innovative treatment approach, introduced by the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This structured and prescriptive approach to therapy focuses on immediate problem areas in substance use. This includes treatment participation and adherence with treatment prescriptions; becoming abstinent, maintaining abstinence, and preventing relapse; as well as modifying or eliminating behaviors that increase the risk of contracting blood borne or infectious diseases (e.g., HIV, Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases); In particular, there is a focus on increasing engagement in non-drug-related social interactions and pleasurable activities.
BDRC was piloted in the country in 2014 through a joint collaboration between UNODC, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and the Yale School of Medicine. A training course for 10 drug treatment experts from the Islamic Republic of Iran; Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ), the State Welfare Organization, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the Prisons Organization, and Rebirth NGO was organized in 2014. They were trained by the developer of the BDRC treatment approach, Professor Marek Cezary Chawarski, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, at Yale University of the United States of America.
In 2015, UNODC held a four-day advanced training and supervision course for "Behavioral Drug and Risk Counselling (BDRC)". This was conducted under its technical cooperation on drugs and crime in the Islamic Republic of Iran with the close cooperation of DCHQ. This activity was supported by the generous contributions from Australia and Sweden. The course focused on treating women with amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) use disorder. The course was supported by Professor Chawarski, the father of BDRC. The purpose of this advanced training was to enhance the capacity for treatment and rehabilitation of ATS use disorders among women in the country and increase the level of knowledge, skills, and confidence of Iranian drug therapists on effective out-patient interventions (BDRC) for ATS abuse treatment among women in the Islamic Republic of Iran. There is serious concern about the increasing numbers of women drug users. DCHQ figures indicate that more women are dying from drug related causes compared with previous years. Each year around 3000 persons die from drug related causes. Women drug users are amongst some of the most vulnerable groups in Iran. They and spouses of drug users face higher levels of domestic violence and deprivation compared with other women.
Introducing innovative treatment approaches for ATS use, such as "Behavioral Drug and Risk Counselling (BDRC)" will help therapists, like Soheila's therapist to expand their treatment approaches to tackling the problems of ATS use in the country and also empower Soheila, to lead a healthy and drug-free life.

icon-doc Further information at:


Drug Prevention, Treatment and HIV/AIDS