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June 23, 2014

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Recovering addicts and volunteers to team up

TEAMS of volunteers will befriend recovering drug addicts and meet up for artistic and sporting activities under a new initiative launched yesterday.

Organized by local anti-drug authorities and media companies, the “Anti-drug Bumblebee” campaign aims to help former users reintegrate into society.

Teams of six volunteers and one recovering addict will form a group and compete with other teams in monthly activities over a year.

Activities include painting designs on cars donated to the project and playing badminton.

“Recovering addicts with no job, no friends and no hope may easily turn back to drugs if they cannot reintegrate into society,” said Meng Xiao, an organizer and well-known Shanghai radio presenter. “When they have a social life, this strengthens their resolve to say goodbye to drugs,” she added.

The program, targeting volunteers under 40, recruited more than 100 people in the month before its launch yesterday at Zhongshan Park in Changning district.

Another 100 people applied to be volunteers at the event, said organizers.

Tang Ming, a 36-year-old wealth manager, and five younger colleagues, were among those who applied.

“Anyone can fall on life’s path. And if we do not help them up, more people may stumble,” said Tang.

There were more than 74,000 drug users registered in the city at the end of May, some 7,000 more than for the same period of last year, figures show.


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