Easy prey for peddlers of fun drugs

China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-06-27 07:09

NONE OF 226 STUDENTS surveyed at a junior middle school in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, prior to the 30th International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Monday, professed any interest in trying illegal drugs. Chinese Business View commented on Monday:

It is good news that the surveyed Xi'an teenagers, nearly 90 percent of whom are around 13 years of age, were opposed to drugs. But the survey manifested that there is plenty of room for improvement, too, when it comes to anti-drug education for students.

For instance, most of the surveyed students are aware of traditional drugs such as opium and heroin, but not many have heard of newer synthetic recreational drugs. Yet it is fair to say teenagers are susceptible to these pharmacologically manufactured drugs that may be a novelty to many, but are psychoactive stimulants with dangerous side effects.

A 2016 report on drug use in China shows there was a year-on-year decline in the number of youngsters who started using drugs last year. However, about 22,000 of the new drug users were aged under 18, and 1.46 million were aged between 18 and 35. And fewer new drug users does not equal a drop in the number of juniors who use drugs, more efforts are thus called for to keep drugs away from youths.

Teenagers remain an easy target for drug dealers and drug traffickers. For all the preventative efforts to take effect, students should be made aware of the new drugs and informed of the risks of "just having a go for fun".

(China Daily USA 06/27/2017 page11)

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