Islamic Republic of Iran


Using SMS to raise awareness about World Drug Day in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mohammad Sepehrnoush Over 70,000 text messages with the 2015 WDD motto were sent to youth all over Iran For young people in Iran, SMS is the first readily accessible data channel. It is suitable for interpersonal communication, friendship and creating awareness. Youth forms the largest portion of Iran's 73 million people; over 60% are under 30 years old. Youth are also most prone to experimenting and getting involved with drug abuse.
June 26 is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987, this day serves as a reminder of the goals agreed by the Member States for creating an international society free of drug abuse. On 26th of June 2015, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in collaboration with the Drug Control Headquarters (DCHQ) adopted a more contemporary approach to create awareness for the Word Drug Day (WDD) by sending text messages (SMS) to youth and the focal points of NGOs in the field of Drug Demand Reduction (DDR).
The active involvement of civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is essential to help UNODC carry out its global mandates. NGOs in Iran play a significant role in dealing with the complex problems of drug abuse and this is highly acknowledged and supported by all relevant authorities in this country. More than 1,200 NGOs in Iran are providing various drug demand reduction, harm reduction and HIV prevention and care services to over 750,000 people. Iran lies on a transit trafficking route of illicit opiates from the eastern borders. Some 1,325,000 people or 2.26% of Iran's adult population are drug users. Injecting drug use is responsible for 68% of HIV transmission. Each year about 3000 people die from drug related causes.

The World Drug Day 2015 motto
Over 70,000 text messages with the 2015 WDD motto translated into Farsi were sent to youth, university and high school students and focal points of civil society all over the country. "Mahdokht Hafezi", a young office worker in Tehran who read the message on her hand phone screen, said "the message made me think about our communities in Tehran and the importance of preventing the problems and misery of drug abuse."

icon-doc Further information at:

Drug Prevention, Treatment and HIV/AIDS

Drug Trafficking and Border Control