photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 28 June 2017

Drug Addiction in Iran Has Doubled

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • addiction: something that one develops an unhealthy dependence on; a thing or habit that is very difficult to give up
  • opium: an addictive drug made from poppies
  • extract: to take out of something
  • resin: a sticky plant substance
  • consume: to eat or take into the body
  • gateway: an entrypoint
  • trafficker: a person who transports illegal substances or people

Drug Addiction in Iran Has Doubled

According to a recent survey by Iran’s Drug Organization, drug addiction in Iran has doubled in the past six years. Approximately 2.8 million people in Iran are drug users. Their drug of choice is opium. Opium is the main found in heroin and is extracted from poppy resin. It close to 70% of the drugs consumed in Iran, where it is traditionally smoked in pipes. About 90% of the world’s opium comes from , and Iran is the main gateway for traffickers.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why does the report mention Afghanistan?
  2. Where did the statistics come from?
  3. How do opiate users in Iran typically consume the drug?

Discussion Question: Many well-educated, unemployed young women are addicted to drugs in Iran. Why do you think so many women that fit this description are addicted to drugs?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

6 Comments on Drug Addiction in Iran Has Doubled

  1. Alberto says:

    In my humble opinion the lack of liberty push women to take drugs.

  2. Sarah says:

    Hello, everyone.

    I am very sorry to read this news. I didn’t know much about drug problem until I read the news. Because I live in South korea where most of people don’t have a drug problem. Actually, it’s hard to get any kind of drug in korea. so I am not aware of this kind of issue.

    Now I realize that most Opium comes from Afghanistan and Iran is fighting against drug traffikerss. I hope other countries, including South korea, should help Iran to stop drag traffiking. Otherwise, more people could be in jeopardy to destroy their lives.

  3. Junior says:

    Hello everyone.
    ..I am really so scared of the notice about drugs in other country…I’m from Brazil then everybody knows about the drugs a very common problem in here…I don’t imagine the country as Iran or Afghanistan has the same bif problem like us…I hope the government has attitude about this quickly or we keeprovide have broke families in the world. …

    Junior from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  4. Bijan says:


    You don’t know how much I’m happy that I can see your answer here. It is proud of me that a teacher like you, answers my comment kindly. Your answer encourages me for learning English very much. I love learning English.

    If my writing has improved, it is only because of English Club because I finished nine of speech (grammar) on English Club six months ago. In addition, Sir Josef always helps me very much. He sends me a lot of emails and teaches me new subjects.

    I invite you and Sir Josef for visiting Iran’s historical places. My country has a lot of tourist attractions like Persepolis that is one symbol of Iran’s culture and history.
    You feel free to ask me any question about Iran’s culture and history. I hope you and Sir Josef to visit Iran soon and I take you to historical places of my country. Tehran and historical cities of Iran have the most beautiful hotels in the Middle East that I can reserve one of them for you.

    Please, all of you know Iranian people are hospitable and kindness.

    Now, I’m trying to improve speaking and listening that if you come to my country one day, I can be the best translator for all of you.

    Please, you know I don’t have any partner in my country for improving my speaking, so I’m very sad because of this subject.

    Finally, If you add me to your friends on Facebook and English Club, I will be very happy. My nickname is Persian Gulf on Facebook.

    You gave me the best prize today. Your prize is always in my heart.

    Thank you and have a great time,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf

  5. Tara Benwell says:

    Hi Bijan,

    Thanks for weighing in on this problem. I was really amazed by this news (such a high percentage of the population). Drug addiction is a big problem in so many areas, but I did not realize how much came from Afghanistan until I researched this news. I also read about how many people are killed trying to prevent this trafficking. Drug abuse is heartbreaking to so many families. Wishing you peace as well.

    PS. Your writing has improved so much. You must be so proud of your fluency!

  6. Bijan says:

    Dear Tara,

    I’m so sorry for hearing this bad news.

    Firstly, IRAN has nearly 80 million people while in accordance with your report news 2.8 million people in Iran are regular drug users.

    I have read on the news that this rate is upper than my country in many countries of the world (IRAN = 80 million people = 2.8 drug users).
    I hope the rate to reduce in my country in the future.

    Secondly, as you explained the opium comes from Afghanistan. My country is fighting against traffickers for many years and many brave Iranian soldiers have been killed by them.
    I believe that Union Europe and other countries should help to IRAN for fighting against traffickers because Iran has a very long border with Afghanistan. The border is a big desert (nearly 1000 kilometers) that cannot be controlled easily.

    Thus, I hope all countries will cooperate against traffickers because as you explained 90% of the world opium comes from Afghanistan.

    I wish all of you health and happiness,
    Bijan from the Persian Gulf,

Let us have your ideas: