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Despite Crackdown, Drug Use in China Increasing
An article published in the January 25, 2015, print edition of the New York Times, reports that use of illegal drugs such as synthetic stimulants, narcotics, and anesthetics is increasing in China despite an ongoing crackdown. According to the article, the Chinese government began an anti-drug campaign in October of 2014 that has thus far resulted in the seizure of large amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, and anesthetics such as ketamine, in addition to the arrests of more than 60,500 suspected drug offenders (Despite a Crackdown, Use of Illegal Drugs in China Continues Unabated).
Analysts and some prominent members of the Chinese government, however, question whether the new campaign can impact illegal drug use in China, citing statistics that show a nine percent increase in the number of methamphetamine addicts from 2008. The author of the article suggests that China’s growing economic prosperity is the main force driving increasing illegal drug – prominently methamphetamine– use among China’s citizens.
This new anti-drug campaign is unique among previous ones conducted by Chinese law officials, the author claims. In previous campaigns, high ranking drug traffickers were able to insulate and protect street dealers from law enforcement. In this new campaign, however, previously protected street dealers are being arrested.
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