GUIYANG -- The number of registered Chinese drug addicts has risen by a third in the past three years, and has now reached 1.08 million as of October, said an official of the Ministry of Public Security on Friday.
The number is continuing to increase and the situation is serious, said Zhang Xinfeng, the ministry's deputy minister.
According to the ministry, the number of addicts was 785,000 in 2005.
Nearly 80 percent of the drug abusers are heroin users, Zhang said.
More than 56,000 drug dealers had been arrested and 460,000 drug smuggle cases had been dealt in the first ten months in 2008, Zhang said.
Chinese police would continue to crack down on drug trafficking, he said.
The ministry plan to build 45 non-compulsory rehabilitation centers across China, before which China only had compulsory ones.
As some addicts found it hard to rejoin the society, the government plans to build up friendly environment in the new centers, Zhang said.
Totally 220 million yuan (about US$32 million) from the central budget had been invested on the construction of rehabilitation centers since 2006, and 10 had been accomplished and received more than 1,600 drug users.
A woman from southwest China's Guizhou Province who did not want to identify herself said that she had been in the non-compulsory rehabilitation center in Sanya City in China's southern island Hainan Province for two years. She did want to use drugs any more.
She said she had got a salary of 800 yuan (about US$118) per month as well as social insurance.