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June 6, 2014

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Citywide campaign launched as drugs-related cases rise

OVER 7,000 suspects were captured in about 6,500 drug- related crimes in Shanghai between January 2013 and April 2014, anti-drug authorities said yesterday.

The new figures reflected about 35 percent jump from the period between January 2012 and April 2013. Over 1,200 kilograms of drugs  were seized during the period.

There were over 74,000 drug users registered in the city by the end of May this year, which was about 7,000 more than last year. Authorities said 60 percent of the new drug users are under the age of 35.

The alarming rise in drug cases has led the government to  launch a citywide anti-drug education campaign in communities, villages, families, schools, companies and public spaces.

“Drug abuse has complicated inducements, such as high pressure, influence of friends and other reasons.

“But most young people use drugs because they are not fully aware of the perniciousness of drugs. So we have to tell them the serious consequences of drug abusing,” said Wang Jun, director of the Shanghai Anti-Drug Office.

Wang said 90 percent of new drug users take synthetic drugs, such as ketamine and smokable methamphetamine also known as “ice.”

Synthetic drugs made up 86.3 percent of all drugs seized in Shanghai in 2013, while it was 59.2 percent in 2009.

Shanghai also had a small number of cases relating to new psychoactive substances (NPS), an umbrella term for unregulated psychoactive substances or products intended to mimic the effects of controlled drugs.

But in the international drug control system, NPS are seen as the third-generation drugs, following traditional drugs such as opium and heroin, and currently controlled synthetic drugs.


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