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Drug abuse continues to decline in China

By YANG ZEKUN | | Updated: 2024-06-20 14:04
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China's drug situation is generally under control and stable, with the scale of drug abuse continuing to decrease, according to the China Drug Situation Report 2023 issued by the office of National Narcotics Control Commission on Wednesday.

In 2023, a total of 42,000 drug-related criminal case were solved, 65,000 suspects were captured, and 25.9 tons of various drugs were seized, representing a year-on-year increase of 12.6 percent, 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively, it said.

Thanks to extensive drug prevention education, continuous implementation of the "Care for Drug Users" campaign and strengthening of rehabilitation and support for drug users, the scale of drug abuse has continued to fall, said the report.

By the end of 2023, there were 896,000 registered drug users in China, a year-on-year drop of 20.3 percent, accounting for 0.064 percent of the total population. There were nearly 4.08 million individuals who had not experienced a relapse after three years of abstinence, a year-on-year increase of 7.6 percent.

Besides, a total of 195,000 instances of drug use were dealt with throughout the year, a decrease of 1.1 percent year-on-year.

The report noted the drop in abuse of mainstream drugs. Among the registered drug users, there were 305,000 heroin users, 455,000 methamphetamine users, and 30,000 ketamine users, representing year-on-year fall of 26.7 percent, 22.6 percent, and 6.3 percent, respectively.

According to the results of the national wastewater drug monitoring by the National Narcotics Laboratory, the consumption of mainstream drugs such as methamphetamine and ketamine is on the decline, and no significant scale of fentanyl abuse has been detected so far, it said.

However, the high prices of mainstream drugs, prompted drug users to turn to more accessible, cheaper and similarly effective addictive substances, such as narcotic and psychotropic medications. Among these, the misuse of etomidate is particularly notable. Besides, drug users seeking alternatives such as dextromethorphan and compound diphenoxylate, which were non-scheduled addictive substances, also presented a significant issue, it said.

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