Hell of China's child drug users

Updated: 2012-06-26 17:43


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The images are as shocking as they are disturbing, but they reveal the living hell of drug abuse in China.

One child as young as 12 swaps jokes and cigarettes with adults in a center which looks more like a high-security prison than a rehabilitation center.

The images, first published by Xiaoxiang Morning News in Changsha, capital city of Hunan province as part of their coverage for United Nation's International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, are disturbing enough.

However, the story of one patient on the rehab wing of Chenzhou Mental Hospital highlights the horrifying truth of drug abuse among China's children.

Hell of China's child drug users

Chao, 12, turned to injecting heroin into his body after his parents were jailed for drug trafficking, his grandparents died and he was forced to live alone from eight years of age.

"Someone injected me with water left in a bottle," said Chao, which is not the youngster's full name and we have partially concealed his identity. He added: "I felt dizzy at the beginning, but I became extremely comfortable like I'm flying in the sky."

The "water" was actually dissolved heroin and he soon became addicted aged around 10. He would smoke endless cigarettes to ease the pain of coming down from the powerful drug, but it didn't help.

The only thing that did was to inject more heroin.

His life was controlled by drug peddlers until he was caught by the police in Chenzhou on March 21 when he tried to buy needles for a dealer.

He doesn't know when he became completely addicted to the drug and cannot clearly remember how many times he managed to escape from the control of different dealers, he recalls in a way that has given him a scary maturity way beyond his years and left his young body pot-marked from using needles on his groin.

The image, carried on the next page, is truly disturbing and has been included to highlight the horrors of drug abuse, but readers should be warned about the graphic content.

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