China is seeing an increase in the use of synthetic drugs such as crystal methamphetamine, also known as "ice," according to an annual report released by the country's drug watchdog on Thursday.
The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) said in its 2010 drug abuse monitoring report that the abuse of other drugs, such as heroin, has decreased over time.
However, heroin and crystal meth were still the two most widely-used illegal drugs last year, according to the report.
The report also showed that the abuse of narcotics and psychotropic substances originally intended for medical use remained at a comparatively low level.
"The situation of drug prohibition is still grim, and the task of coping with drug abuse is difficult," the report said.
According to previous reports, illegal activity related to the use of synthetic drugs like crystal meth and ketamine has increased in recent years.
The report stated that police seized more crystal meth than heroin in 16 of China's 31 provincial-level regions last year.
Police records showed that China had 432,000 synthetic drug abusers by the end of 2010, accounting for 28 percent of the country's drug abusers. Last year saw 118,000 more synthetic drug abusers than 2009.