HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Amnesty For Addicts To Register
Pubdate: Tue, 20 Jun 2000
Source: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
Copyright: 2000 South China Morning Post Publishers Limited.


Beijing officials are ordering drug addicts to register with police in an
apparent month-long amnesty that allows them to avoid harsh treatment
Addicts who register must swear not to use drugs again and enter treatment
programmes that allow them to quit gradually, the official Beijing Morning
Post said.

Addicts who did not come forward and were caught using drugs would be
forced to go "cold turkey" (a withdrawal treatment) during three to
six-month stays in treatment centres, the newspaper said. Hardcore
addicts who did not register would be "severely punished" in labour

Beijing has an estimated 10,000 drug addicts, with many coming from
elsewhere in China also living in the city, the newspaper said.

The order mainly targeted injecting drug users. But the article said
police were also demanding compliance from users of Ecstasy, an
amphetamine known in Chinese as the "head-rocking pill".

China's chief anti-drug official reported in March that China had
681,000 drug addicts last year, a 14 per cent increase over the
previous year. The Communists wiped out rampant opium addiction in
their first decades of power, but drug abuse has returned under
free-market reforms.
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