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Book Review – ‘Beating Drug Addiction in Tehran: A Women’s Clinic’ by Dr. Kate Dolan

Professor Kate Dolan is one of the worldwide leading scientists and clinicians in the field of HIV, safe drug use, and methadone programs. In 1986 she founded with some of her colleagues the first needle and syringe program in Australia, which happened to be the third in the world. In the decades after she was closely involved with the establishment of treatment centers for women in Iran as well as the provision of methadone treatment to women in Irani prisons.

 ”I asked if I could take off my hejab in the car and she says ‘Are you crazy?’ If the police see you, they will put you in jail.’ We both laughed as I had asked her several times how could I visit prison this time.”

 In ”Beating drug addiction in Tehran” prof. Dolan provides a colourful story about her honest experiences in Iran. The book provides sufficient medical background for those that are unfamiliar with the work field and prof. Dolan’s insightful and unique perspective in such a rare international program is both fascinating and inspiring. Within the book, so many topics are covered: Iran’s politics, prison systems, medical care, and daily life as well as medical aid, drug treatment, international collaborations etc. The book is a great read for anyone in the field of international health, addiction medicine or public health as well as for those with a genuine interest in these topics.

To put everything – her own work, the clinic, the political struggle – into perspective, prof. Dolan ends on a very important note, which we should all keep in mind:

 ”Sustainability is a key goal in international development. While it will not always be possible to continue specialised clinics like this one, it is often hoped that the main stream services can change to accommodate minority groups who need specific services.”

‘Beating Drug Addiction in Tehran: A Women’s Clinic’  by Dr. Kate Dolan. Glass House Books, 2021. ISBN: 9781922332325