One in 100 Chinese may have used narcotics

Updated: 2015-06-24 11:44


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BEIJING - China had 2.95 million registered drug addicts at the end of 2014, but the real number of those who have used narcotics is thought to exceed 14 million, the Ministry of Public Security said on Wednesday.

That means one out of 100 Chinese may have used drugs, said Liu Yuejin, assistant minister of public security.

Although the spread of traditional drugs such as heroine has been curbed, the number of identified synthetic drug addicts has risen sharply to 1.46 million, six times the number in 2008.

Drug users are becoming younger, according to the ministry. Among the 480,000 newly identified drug users in 2014, 29,000 were under the age of 18 and around three quarters were under the age of 35.

In the past, drug users were mostly the unemployed, farmers, private business owners and migrant workers. Now the demographic is expanding to employees of public institutions, freelancers and entertainers, said Liu.