A senior police officer warned yesterday that China faces an
uphill battle in its fight against illegal narcotics, particularly
given the increasing availability of new types of drugs.
Yang Fengrui, director of the Ministry of Public Security's
narcotics control bureau, said in an online interview that much
remained to be done to continue the authorities' successful
two-year battle against drug use.
New types of drugs, like ice, ecstasy and ketamine, have been
spreading at a tremendous speed across the nation and are posing a
great threat to social stability, he said.
People using these new types of drugs account for a growing
portion of drug arrests.
"Still more new-type drug users may not have been discovered
yet," he said.
Yang said it was a mistake for people to think that ice and
ecstasy are not drugs, adding that they are actually addictive and
harmful to the nervous system.
Long-time consumption of the drugs could lead to mental
disorders and loss of self-control, he said.
Yang warned that young people, especially students, should be
careful about accepting drinks and cigarettes from others in
According to incomplete statistics from the bureau, the police
dealt with 1,959 drug-related cases at public entertainment places
nationwide last year.
Tempted by the large profits, many managers of such
establishments allow or directly provide drugs to customers, he
Yang said a large-scale drug education campaign is urgent.
He said the special campaign against narcotics that kicked off
in 2005 had yielded substantial results, with the annual growth
rate of new addicts dropping from 30 percent in 2000 to 5.8 percent
Last year, police cracked 46,300 drug-related cases, seizing
56,200 suspects. They also seized 5.79 tons of heroin, 1.69 tons of
opium, 5.95 tons of ice, 454,100 ecstasy pills and 1.79 tons of
The government spent 110 million yuan (US$14.3 million) last
year to set up a drug prevention and control system that involves
all relevant departments.
Statistics from the bureau show that the price of heroin in most
parts of the country had increased by 80 to 100 percent last year
because of the crackdown. It is now much more difficult for drug
users to buy heroin.
Last year, 660,000 heroin users were caught, 6 percent less than
the year before.
The percentage of new HIV cases caused by shared needles dropped
to 49 percent last year from 68.7 percent in 2001.
(China Daily June 25, 2007)