Dr Dolan’s book details the intimate lives of four Iranian women, their struggle with drugs and the daily grind they faced in their personal lives.
Surprisingly, Iran responded well to its AIDS crisis but forgot to include female drug users. While Dr Dolan delivered training to Iranian prison doctors, she met women who were addicted to drugs and were desperately in need of treatment. With her health professional colleagues in Iran, she set out to establish the first drug treatment clinic for women. She was granted access to areas and people not normally afforded to outsiders.
One of the most interesting aspect of the clinic was the safe room that allowed women to remove their hejabs, smoke cigarettes and reveal their life stories. Working at the clinic challenged assumptions Dr Dolan had of Iran and its people. She came away with insights that are rare even in the world of international development.
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