China should enact a law so as to beef up anti-drug drive as soon as possible, said a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on the ongoing CPPCC session Tuesday. He warned the growing number of young drug abusers against greater troubles and urged them to abandon drug addiction.
Last year, people under the age of 35 make up 72.2 percent of China's 1.03 million registered drug addicts and the number keeps increasing rapidly.
Huang Jingjun, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, said more than 70 percent of the money used to buy drugs come from illegal sources, leading many young abusers to committing crimes such as robbery, theft and prostitution to finance their addiction.
Meanwhile, drug addiction proved to be a major cause of HIV infection. In 2003, 63 percent of HIV infections in China was caused by drug addiction, and many of the infected victims are youngsters.
In some Chinese reform-through-labor centers, drug abusers under 25 account for over 60 percent of the total number of detainees with the youngest abuser being only eight years old, said Huang. A dearth of social experience and a lack of education were, among other factors, have led to the rapidly increasing figure of young drug abusers.
The CPPCC member also attributed the grave situation of adolescent drug abuse to the drug-smuggling activities in the country. In 2003, Chinese police cracked some 90,000 drug-related crime cases and captured more than 60,000 drug dealers. Some 9.5 tons of heroine, nearly 1,000 kg of opium, 5.8 tons of "ice", or methamphetamine hydrochloride, and 72 tons of drug-making chemicals were seized.
Many drug dealers employed youngsters to transfer and sell drugs, victimizing the youth and instigating them to victimize others, warned Huang, who called for arousing all the possible forces to inform the whole society, especially the young people, of harms of drug abuse and step up anti-drug efforts.
In addition, he noted, the Chinese society should take a more tolerant and caring attitude toward young drug abusers and even those involved in crimes by lessening their penalties and helping them rehabilitate both mentally and physically.
Huang also called for faster pace to tabling an administrative regulation on management of drug-making chemicals.
(Xinhua News Agency March 9, 2004)