Eradicate the Drug Menace


By LI JIANGUO

From production to trafficking and then addiction, the global concern of drugs is becoming a big threat to China. In 2003, the registered population of drug addicts totaled 1.05 million and their demographics showed that the problem was countrywide. Behind the figures are numerous stories of life loss, broken families and crimes. The anti-drug situation is something China is taking very seriously.

For years, based on the final goal of eradicating drugs, the Chinese Government has made and implemented a series of policies and measures to ban drugs. Anti-drug institutions have been set up across the country. At the same time, the government has tried hard to raise people’s awareness of the harm of drugs to health, especially to juveniles, showing them that drug problem has affected public security and the economic construction of the nation, and has caused mental pain and financial losses to drug victims and their families as well.

But drugs still continue to spread in China despite the government’s strict crackdown, flowing from border areas to inland cities, and drug addicts in China have expanded from idle youth to public servants, company employees and even students.

Although the efforts and achievements are immense and substantial, there are still some weaknesses in the work against drugs. Anti-drug measures in some areas are not forceful enough to block the influx of drugs. China is an ideal market for international gangs of drug dealers. To the southwest is the notorious Golden Triangle, an area between Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, and the largest source of drugs in the world; to its northwest, the threat of the “Golden Crescent” (another major drug production area along the borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran) is increasing; and to the southeast, various new types of drugs are flowing into China from across the sea. If these chains of drug transportation are not thoroughly cut, the rampancy of drugs in China is unlikely to be arrested.

Apart from this, an effective supervision and management system for addicts has yet to be established, especially in the countryside and hinterland. Without effective monitoring, drugs will spread like a plague.

Financial shortages is another thorny issue. To evade the government’s detection, drug dealers and addicts tend to use high technology to protect themselves, which makes the cost of anti-drug work high. The lack of funds has become a major stumbling block for anti-drug police in border and rural areas.

New thinking and innovative working methods need to be found to cope with the siege of international drug traffickers and the rising domestic drug consumption. “Drug-free community” is a good experiment. It can segment the anti-drug work according to different focus areas, like addiction prohibition, trafficking, cropping and production ban, abstaining from taking and so on, based on a small-sized neighborhood or community.

However, only depending on the government is not enough. It is also the responsibility for everyone to keep away from drugs, so as to protect themselves and others.