Mina grew up with addicted parents. She started using drugs when she was 19. (Maryam Rahmanian/For The Washington Post)

12 May 2014

Mina, a 24-year-old drug addict, sleeps with her teddy bear at the Women-Only Rehab Center on the western outskirts of Tehran. 


On the western outskirts of this city, in an industrial neighborhood of factories and dusty half-constructed lots, a metal-walled building houses women with a secret.

They are female drug addicts, a growing class of people with a habit so taboo in this traditional Islamic society that some Iranians believe they deserve death. But the modest facility here, a substance-abuse rehabilitation center for women, is one sign that attitudes are slowly changing as Iran begins to confront an uncomfortable problem that long went ignored.

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