Pathology of Implementation of Drug Policies in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Document Type : Research Article


1 Full Professor of Public Policy, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD of Public Policy, University of Tehran,Tehran, Iran


We employed the top-down policy implementation model of  Horn and Meter, from policymaking to the implementation stage we need to consider six components including standards and objectives, resources, inter-organizational communication and enforcement activities, characteristics of implementing agencies, economic, social and political conditions and the disposition of implementers.  In this research, we used a directed qualitative content analysis method based on semi-structured interviews with  elites in the field of anti-narcotics policy implementation. Then, we compared the results with the model of our research. According to the results of our study, 13 deviances are identified as follows: executors not prioritising anti-narcotic actions, confliction and multiplicity of policy objectives, lack of an index for success evaluation, the disproportion between objectives and standards, resources mismanagement, Structural inconsistencies in the implementation stage, Systematic disregard for science and practice, Institutional and social turmoil, Polyphony and lack of strong organizational authority, implementers disbelief, lack of monitoring and accountability, insistence on quick-response measures and inability in prioritisation.


  1. Akbari, A. (2014). A Study on the Pathology of Criminal Policy Governing Drug Crimes. Journal of Social Health and Addiction, vlo1 1,No2.[in Persian]
  2. Assistance for Life Program. (2020). Tehran: Drug Control Headquarters. [in Persian]
  3. Atrride-stirling,Jennifer, (2001),Thematic networks:an analytic tool for qualitative.
  4. Brown, Robert W (1982) “Performance Appraisal: a policy Implementation Analysis” Review of policy personnel Administration, Vol. 2, No2.
  5. Brynard, Petrus (2009) “mapping the factors that the influence policy implementation”, journal of public administration. Vol. 44, No. 3.
  6. Comprehensive Scientific Map of the Country approved by the 2010 High Council of Cultural Revolution. [in Persian]
  7. Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. [in Persian]
  8. Cultural Engineering Map of the Country approved by the 2011 High Council of Cultural Revolution. [in Persian]
  9. Degroff, A. & Cargo (2009) Policy implementation: I'm policy at on for evaluation. InJ.M. ottosen phase(Ed), Know Ledge utilization, diffusion, implementation, transfer and translation: implementation for evaluation, New Direction for Evaluation.
  10. Donald van horn&carl van meter(1975)The policy implementation process,administration and society.
  11. nocholas(1990)drug markets and law enforcement.british journal.
  12. Fathollahzadeh, M. (2018). Pathology of Border Policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Field of Drug Transit from Eastern Borders and Presentation of Optimal Strategies. Master's thesis, The Field of Political Geography. University of Tehran. [in Persian]
  13. Firouzi, M. (2011). Pathology of Iranian Criminal Policy in Dealing with Drugs. Master's thesis, The Field of Law. Qom University. [in Persian]
  14. General Policies of the Population Enacted by the Supreme Leader. (2014). [in Persian]
  15. General Policies of the Sixth Development Plan Enacted by the Supreme Leader in Defense and Security Affairs. (2015). [in Persian]
  16. Giacchino, Stephen and Kakabadse, Andrew (2003) “Successful policy implementation: the route to building self-confident government” International Review of Administrative Sciences, Vol. 69, No. 2, 139-160.
  17. Hai Thanh Luong(2021) ‘We realised we needed a new approach’: Government and law enforcement perspectives on the implementation and future of the drug decriminalisation policy in vietnam. International Journal of Drug Policy,Volume 87.
  18. Hannah K. Knudse, (2011),Barriers to the implementation of medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders: The importance of funding policies and medical infrastructure, Evaluation and Program Planning 375–381.
  19. Helga, Pula and Tribe, Oliver (2007) Implementing public policy, 89-102 in fisher, frank; miller, Gerald j; Sidney, Mara s, handbook of public policy analysis, Taylor & Francis group CRC Press: Boca Raton, London, New York.
  20. Heydenrych, p (2016) problems and challenges related to public policy implement action within the south African democratic dispensation: a theoretical exploration, dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree master of its -political studies at the Potchefstroom campus of the north-west university.
  21. Hill, Michael and Hupe, Peter (2002) Implementing public policy, Publisher SAGE Publications London, Thousand oaks, New Delhi.
  22. Hogwood, B. and Gunn, L. (1984) policy Analysis For Real world. Oxford: Oxford University press. ۴۳- Howlett, Michael (2019) “Moving policy Implementation Theory Forward: A Multiple streams/ critical juncture approach” Public policy and Administration, Vol.34. No. 4, 405- 430.
  23. C, N King (2010) Qualitative research in Interviews.
  24. Hsiu-Fang, Hsieh & Shannon, Sarah. E. (2005). Three Approaches To
  25. implementation of substance misuseinterventions in conflict-affected.
  26. Ingram, Helen and Schneider, Anne (1990) “improving implementation through framing smarter statutes” public policy Vol. 10, No. 1, 67-88.
  27. Instruments: A Guide for Researchers. London: Routledge.
  28. Kamali, Y. (2018). Methodology of Thematic Analysis and its Application in Public Policy Studies. Iranian Journal of Public Policy, vol 4 No2. [in Persian]
  29. Kamali, Y., et al. (2020). Implementation of Public Policies: Providing a Set of Criteria for Successful Implementation of Policies. [in Persian]
  30. Law on the Comprehensive Welfare and Social Security Organizational Structure. (2004).Kamali, Y., et al. (2020). Implementation of Public Policies: Providing Criteria for Successful Policy Implementation. Journal of Public Policy, vol 6,No 2. [in Persian]
  31. Lester,J.&j.stewart(2000)publicpolicy:anevolutionaryapproach,wadworth,usa.
  32. Lipsky, Michael (1980) “Street Level Bureaucracy and the Analysis of Urban Reform” Urban Affairs Quarterly. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
  33. Madani Ghahfarokhi, S. (2007). Addiction Management Periods in Iran. Tehran: Journal of Social Welfare,vol 7. [in Persian]
  34. Malek Mohammadi, H. (2017). basics and principles of public policy making. Tehran: Samt Publications. [in Persian]
  35. Marquardt, Jens (2017) “How power Affects policy Implementation: Lessons from the Philippines.”Journal of Current south East Asian Affairs, vol. 36, No.1, 3-27.
  36. Mazmanian, Daniel and Sabatier, paul (1983) public policy implementation and public policy Glenville all: Scott.foreman (Re published in 1989 university press of American Lanham, MD.
  37. Mousavi Noor, S. A. (2018). Document on the Socialization of Drug Control. Tehran. Drug Control Headquarters. [in Persian]
  38. Nourabadi, G. (2018). Teaching the Prevention, Control, and Treatment of Addiction. Tabriz: Systematic Comprehensive Health Education and Promotion Model. [in Persian]
  39. Pressman, Jeffrey and Wildavsky, Aaron (1973) Implementation How great expectations in Washington are dashed in Oakland:or why it’s amazing that federal program work at all. Berkeley: University of California press.
  40. Pressman, Jeffrey L, Wildavsky, Aaron (1984) Implementation. University of California press, ۳th Edition.
  41. Pressman,J and A.wildavski(1973)implementation,Berkeley,university of California press.
  42. Qasemian, S. (2018). National Plan for Comprehensive Drug Control, Rehabilitators, and Precursors with a Social Approach in the Sixth Plan. Tehran. Drug Control Headquarters.
  43. Rahmdel, M. (2016). Iranian Criminal Policy: Drug Trafficking Crimes. Tehran: Samt Publications. [in Persian]
  44. Roshan Pezhoh, M. (2013). Comprehensive Document of Social Support and Treatment. Tehran: Drug Control Headquarters. [in Persian]
  45. Sarami, H. (2010). Comprehensive Document of Primary Prevention of Addiction. Tehran. Drug Control Headquarters. [in Persian]
  46. Sarami, H. (2017). Comprehensive Document of Fighting against Drugs, Psychedelics, and. Prerequisites with a Social Approach. Tehran. Drug Control Headquarters. [in Persian]
  47. Shafritz, J., & Christopher, B. (2011). Introducing Public Policy. (Malek Mohammadi, H. R., Trans.). Tehran: Imam Sadiq University. [in Persian]
  48. Sixth Development Plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran. (2021-2017). [in Persian]
  49. Tabrizi, M. (2014). Qualitative Content Analysis from the Perspective of Deductive and Inductive Approaches. Social Sciences Quarterly. [in Persian]
  50. Thomas, David R. (2006). A General inductive approach for qualitative data analysis. American Journal of Evaluation. Vol27. No. 2.
  51. Vibeke Asmussen Frank(2011) Empowerment in drug treatment:Dilemmas in implementingpolicy in welfare institutions, Social Science & Medicine Vol 73, Issue 2, Pages 201-208.
  52. Wilkinson, David & Birmingham, Poter (2003). Using Research
  53. Zali, S., Atarodi, M.R., & Danaee Frad, H. (2018). The Scrutiny of Barriers Pattern in Implementation of Meta-policies on Fighting against Drugs in Iran. Rahbord Quarterly Journal, vol 27,No 88. [in Persian]