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Picture of an addict: Young and wanting new drugs

NEARLY half of the drug addicts in Shanghai are under 35 and most of them prefer the newer drugs like ice, according to the Shanghai Municipal Drug Prohibition Committee this morning.

The city had recorded 32,255 drug addicts by the first quarter of this year, 15.47 per 10,000 people.

More than 48 percent of the city's addicts were under 35 and 75 percent of them took newer drugs, such as ice (methamphetamine hydrochloride).

The number of addict is still surging and there are no effective ways of stopping the spread of new drugs in the city though both the demand and supply of traditional narcotics, such as heroin, have been curbed.

Heroin was the main imported drug.

Domestic trafficking was mostly conducted through highways or railways and largely involved newer drugs like ice.
Between January and May Shanghai police solved 623 drug cases and seized 775 suspects, 136.3 kilograms of narcotics, 102 kilograms of marijuana and 1.89 million yuan (US$277,000) in cash.

Shanghai has become a major hub for cross-border drug trafficking to southern China.

Police solved 72 cases involving more than a kilogram of drugs last year. In the first five months of this year there were 34 similar cases, some involving guns.

City drug police arrested four and seized 2 kilograms of ice, two shotguns, and two pistols in an operation on April 20. One man was killed in the action.

Drug control has became tougher since the city increased its old town renovations and more migrants from other parts of the country come to live.

More than one third of the addicts are staying away from their registered residences and moving about, making monitoring difficult.


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