Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Drug education in China tries to combat rising addiction rate

Drug addiction has increased by 54 per cent nationwide in the last seven years but China has achieved some success where it counts most, among primary and middle school students, a senior anti-drug official said on Monday.

According to Chen Xufu, secretary-general of China Anti-narcotics Foundation, drug education in primary and middle schools nationwide has made students more capable of identifying and refusing narcotics.

A recent questionnaire-based survey conducted in several major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, showed that 99 percent of the 3,000 interviewed students in primary and middle schools were aware of the dangers of drug addiction, and 87 percent said that if somebody offered them drugs, such as ecstasy, they would refuse and report the incident to teachers or police.

There are now more than 1 million registered drug users in China and more than 200 million primary and middle school students. Drug education for schoolkids is seen as a key component in the fight against drugs, Chen said.

Primary and middle schools nationwide have made drug awareness part of the regular school curriculum.

According to official statistics, 758,100 of the 1,050,000 registered drug addicts -- 72.2 per cent -- in the country are under 35 years of age. The proportion is down from 77 percent in 2001. -- From Xinhua.

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