A smuggler poses with a bottle of wine during an alcohol smuggling operation to Iran.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In a country where alcohol is illegal, 200,000 people in Iran suffer from alcoholism, according to Iran's police chief Ismail Ahmadi Moghada.
Selling, buying and consuming alcohol in the Islamic Republic is strictly forbidden and can come with a penalty of 80 lashes, according to Iranian law, which is based on Shari'a. Iranians have not been deterred from drinking, causing the Iranian authorities to take the issue even more seriously.
Moghadam said further on that the number of alcoholics comprise only 10 percent of "addictive substance usage" in Iran.
The remaining 90 percent of addicts in the country are using drugs, such as opium, he said.
Iran has faced this issue for many years because Opium smoking ("Teryak" in Persian) has historically been widespread in the country and accepted in all social atmospheres, such as meetings, weddings and parties.
Drug usage is still not considered as much of a hazard to society as alcohol and Iran's long borders result in the weak response from authorities to control smuggling of the drug from neighboring countries.