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Former Addict on March Against Drugs

A woman has walked 1,400 kilometers on a lone campaign against drugs.

Wu Rong, 34, from Zhengzhou in Henan Province, walked to Guangdong speaking of her experience with drugs along the way. She arrived at Shaoguan in northern Guangdong on Saturday.

After leaving a drug rehabilitation center for the seventh time, Wu decided on July 1 to embark on an anti-drug journey to Humen in Guangdong. Back in 1839, Qing Dynasty official Lin Zexu (1785-1850) destroyed 1 million kilos of opium that the British shipped to Humen in a campaign to ban the drug.

Wu began to run a ballroom in 1995 after her first marriage failed and she was laid off by her company. A waitress at the ballroom gave her a "cigarette" to kill the pain when she had a stomach ache in 1996. She realized too late that the "cigarettes" contained heroin. In the days that followed, Wu spent all the money she earned on drugs and even used her parents' pension to buy drugs. When Wu was caught by police and sent to a rehabilitation center for the seventh time in July last year, her despairing parents refused to visit her.

After her forced rehabilitation period expired, Wu stayed on until June 26, 2003 helping other inmates with drug rehabilitation. She then began her journey in July.

Wu said she was planning a bicycle trip to Beijing together with several friends who had successfully given up drugs, hoping to help more addicts return to a normal life.

(Shenzhen Daily December 5, 2003)

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