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China’s Heroin Addiction

To say China has a heroin problem would be an understatement. 

heroin addiction

It’s estimated that up to 70% of drug users in China are addicted to heroin.

While opium has been used in China for centuries, drug use began to shift toward heroin in the 1990s.  Southern China – Yunnan Province in particular – is especially affected by this epidemic due to its proximity to the opium-producing Golden Triangle region of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.

The rise in heroin use has been accompanied by a rise in HIV/AIDS rates, as intravenous drug use is one of the primary causes of HIV transmission.  There are currently 780,000 people living with HIV in China.

The heroin issue persists, despite China’s repeated crackdowns on illegal drugs throughout the country, and treatment options are somewhat dire.  Many of those convicted of violating China’s harsh drug laws find themselves in labour camp-like mandatory rehabilitation centres.  Additionally, many people struggling with addiction do not seek treatment on their own due to stigma and fear of penalisation.

Read the full article here: Heroin Use, Abuse and Addiction in China.

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