EXPOSING THE REALITY OF IRAN’S DRUG ABUSE CRISIS
A hard-hitting new SAT-7 PARS documentary reveals the true human cost of Iran’s escalating drug addiction problem. Focusing mainly on methamphetamine abuse, Crystal Death includes moving personal stories and shows that even in the depths of addiction, hope can always be found in Jesus.
“I used to live, and lived to use,” said Davoud, who bravely shared his testimony on Crystal Death, which will air this month. From his first experience of drug use to his worst moments, when he came within an inch from his life many times, Davoud’s story gives a raw insight to the mind of a person struggling with drug addiction.
A MESSAGE OF GOD’S HOPE
Davoud’s testimony highlights both the destruction caused by his addiction and his incredible struggle for freedom. “I did not really want to do all those things, but I was ruled by drugs,” he said. But even for Davoud, who once dreamed of just 24 hours clean, there was hope when he could not see it. SAT-7 PARS Programming Coordinator Nazanin Ashari explained the underlying message of Crystal Death, saying:
“This is a touching documentary about people who have been involved with drugs and addiction. Although their stories are sad, the film gives viewers hope, highlighting the fact that God never abandons us, even when we think we have reached the end.”
A GROWING PROBLEM
The documentary, called “Marge Shisheyee” in Farsi, reveals the growing impact of methamphetamine or crystal meth. “Shisheyee”, which translates as “glass”, is easy and cheap to make and has surpassed heroin to become the second most popular drug in Iran, after opium. Drug abuse in general is an increasingly widespread problem in Iran, with an estimated 2.8 million people reportedly taking drugs regularly.
The film reflects the broad demographic to which crystal meth appeals. It shows Bijan, a dealer who runs a crystal meth lab, selling to customers at a party, a gym, and even in a beauty salon. Some people take the drug because they believe it provides a “safer” high, while young women also take methamphetamine in pill form to aid weight loss. In the capital alone, more than half a million people between the ages of 15 and 45 have used crystal meth at least once, according to a report by the State Welfare Organisation.
LIVES SHAKEN BY ADDICTION
Crystal Death shows that drug addiction is a cruel reality not only for the user, but also for their family and other people around them. “It is a dark documentary, but intentionally so,” says Producer Moe Pooladfar. “A life affected by drugs often follows a sinister path, where all hope is lost unless you encounter Jesus.”
Parallel to Davoud’s story, an anonymous female speaker shares her experiences of living with her husband’s drug addiction. She emphasised that although she and her daughters did not make the choices that led to addiction, they must now live with the consequences of her husband’s struggles. In a separate interview with SAT-7 staff, she said:
“People now understand what addiction is, what it does, and how it affects the addicted person. But they don’t understand, or often even care, about how it affects family members. In Iran, people living with a person struggling with addiction face judgment. People thought that there must have been other reasons that I stayed with my husband. They didn’t understand that I loved him and wanted to help him.”
The woman is sharing her story of social isolation, prejudice, and other problems with the world to help others who may also be facing similar issues.
Crystal Death is scheduled to be broadcast on SAT-7 PARS in September and will also be subtitled in English for distribution to SAT-7’s supporters and donors.