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Drug abuse a growing problem in Guangzhou
Drug abuse is becoming a serious problem in the film industry, and among writers, poets, and white-collar employees in Guangzhou Province in southern China. The magnitude of the drug market is astounding.
An Information Times article reports that in addition to making and selling drugs, gangs are also building a network of underground drug dealers and customers. The severity of the drug problem in Guangzhou is reflected in four areas: drug transport, methamphetamine and “ecstasy” labs, drug sales network, and the ocial problems associated with drug abuse.
Despite repeated efforts, the government has been unable to control drug transport from other provinces. The authorities know that heroin is mostly shipped from border provinces, especially Yunnan. Drug dealers usually process, dilute, and package substances in a rented room before selling them. Many of the drug rings arrested by authorities involved foreigners, usually with gang ties. The gang members are alert and discreet, and are difficult to catch. The leaders of the gangs are even more elusive.
Manufacturers and dealers of Methamphetamine (popularly referred to as “ice”) and “ecstasy” are also highly active in Guangzhou. In the biggest police operation this year, over 4 tons of methamphetamine was seized. The meth lab was located in Zhongshan City, and the storage facility was in Panyu District in Guangzhou.
In addition to making and selling drugs, gangs are also building a network of low-level drug dealers and consumers in Guangzhou. Registered drug users consume an estimated 5 to 8 tons of heroin every year, costing 2 billion yuan. In recent years, soft drug markets specializing in “ecstasy” and ketamine have also been growing. These substances are easy to make, sell and take, and are spreading at a rapid rate.
Widespread drug abuse creates a host of social problems. Since 2000, 15% of all arrested criminals have been drug users. Among drug users, 10% have AIDS. Seventy percent of the AIDS-infected people in Guangdong were infected through sharing needles. Most of the “ecstasy” users are young, and drug abuse can ruin their lives. IA 2003 survey of drug abuse in Guangzhou revealed 21,587 drug users (excluding 1,870 who have not reported in the last four years, and 488 deaths), 81% of whom are from the City of Guangzhou.
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