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Gains Reported in Nationwide Anti-drug Campaign
Chinese public security authorities have made "initial achievements" in controlling narcotics since a nationwide campaign was launched in early February with the aim of curbing the production, trafficking and use of ice and ecstasy in entertainment centers.

During the first quarter, Chinese police confiscated a total of 200,000 tablets of ice, 247 kilograms of ecstasy and 484 tons of chemicals used in drug production, as well as shutting down 10 illegal drug processing factories, according to sources with the National Narcotics Control Commission on Tuesday.

For example, early this month, after receiving a tipoff, police in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, made a sudden raid on a nightclub and arrested 25 drug suspects and confiscated dozens of ecstasy tablets and quantities of other drugs.

Statistics also indicate that the police conducted special investigations for drugs in 21,388 public entertainment places in medium and large cities, with 882 of them being told to close or clean up their acts.

In addition, during the first three months of this year, in 19,455 drug cases, the police arrested 21,231 suspects and seized 1,951 kilograms of heroin.

Trafficking in and using amphetamine-type stimulant drugs such as ice and ecstasy have been common in many entertainment centers in medium and large cities. At the same time, drug-related crimes have increased dramatically since the early 1990s, said officials from the commission.

The addicts, mainly youngsters with good incomes, take such drugs in discos, bars, KTV rooms and dance halls, they pointed out.

Drugs are a grave menace to the health of people as well to the stability of society.

On January 31, a televised conference was held by the Ministry of Public Security, kicking off a national campaign involving unannounced checks of public places of entertainment.

Officials with the commission also point out that ignorance of the danger of becoming addicted to drugs in some places has hampered progress in the fight against drugs and the crackdown on drug-related crimes.

During recent years, the Chinese Government has made great efforts to combat drug abuse, as the nation is facing an ever-growing scourge and more people are becoming addicted to drugs than ever before.

(China Daily April 25, 2002)

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