Lead Poisoning in Opium Abuser in Iran: A Systematic Review

Kambiz Soltaninejad, Shahin Shadnia


Substance abuse and its consequences are major health hazards in the world. Opium addiction is a common form of substance abuse in Iran. Adulteration of illegal substances in the process of production and distribution of the drug in black market with many types of materials have been reported. One of the main goals of the adulteration of illegal substances is cutting of the substance for deal and increase of the weight for more beneft. However, adding of adulterating agents to illegal drugs could be considered as a cause of nonspecifc and rare toxicity during substance abuse. Although the presence of lead in street‑level heroin, marijuana, and amphetamines has been reported from some countries previously, recently, several reports suggested lead poisoning in Iranian opium addicts. Adulteration of opium with lead is a new source of lead poisoning in Iran in which the opium abuse is frequent and it could be a new health problem in the future. In this regard, evaluation of blood lead level would be important for early diagnosis of lead poisoning in opium addicts.

Keywords: Iran, lead, opioid‑related disorders, opium, poisoning

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