Indexed on: 18 Jan '06Published on: 18 Jan '06Published in: Acta Pharmacologica Sinica
Drug abuse has spread quickly since reemerging as a national problem in China in the late 1980s. The number of registered drug abusers increased from 70,000 in 1990 to more than one million by the end of 2004. In addition to opioids, abuse of 'new' types of drugs including 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and ketamine has spread since 1997. Illicit drug trafficking and production have swept most of southern China, and throughout the country drug abuse has caused many problems for both abusers and the community. One major drug-related problem is the spread of HIV, which has caused major social and economic damage in China. In response, the Chinese government has begun an anti-drug campaign, including legislative measures to control drug abuse. However, changing the public's attitudes toward drug abusers and breaking the link between drug use and HIV spread are equally important.