Over the past few years, a series of measures was undertaken to curb the spread of heroin, which is now under controlled. The problem of synthetic drugs is growing rapidly and there is a large demand. By the end of December 2009: 1.32 million registers of drugs, among them, 74% are heroin users, 60% are under the age of 25. As for synthesized drugs, they have large followers among young people in large and medium-sized cities.
We have emphasized primary importance on prevention and education to enhance awareness on drugs. We have promoted the Anti-Drug Law in that sense. We have organised events to ban drugs and carry out such education in schools, communities, working units, families, countryside. We target particularly high-risk groups, young communities.
We promote a humane approach to drug prevention: treatment and rehabilitation, community-based institutions of detoxification. 81 detoxification and rehabilitation services have been established in the country for opium related drugs. 668 methadone maintenance programmes provide clinic services to drug users, and we exempt treatment costs for people with financial difficulties. All of these are promoted in terms of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Substance treatment is a compromise approach, and to a certain extent a ‘harm reduction’ approach. But we have some issues regarding harm reduction.
Through the measures conducted, new users of heroin are on the decline, and the heroin market is shrinking in China, while the harms done to the community are also decreasing.