China leading the way on global drug fight

China is the most active nation in showing leadership in international cooperation on drug control, said Giovanna Campello, program management officer of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Section.

Campello made the remarks at the three-day “Prevention Strategy and Policy Makers” Regional Seminar held by the UNODC which concluded on Nov 28 in Guiyang, Guizhou province.

Twenty officials from anti-drug agencies of nine ASEAN members attended the event.

As the problem of drugs spreads around the world and more people commit drug crimes at a younger age, a focus on drug prevention from childhood is critical in tackling the problem, Campello said.

“It’s the first time for UNODC to hold the seminar in China and it is of great importance for us to promote drug control work,” said Li Xianhui, deputy secretary-general of the China National Narcotics Control Commission.

Drug use in China was largely due to the worsening global drug situation, leading to a complicated scenario, Li said. Diversified drug sources, types and consumption at a young age are becoming more evident.

According to a report released by the China National Narcotics Control Commission, 4,334 school students in China were registered drug users. Of these 2,127 were methamphetamine abusers (accounting for 49.1 percent), 665 were ketamine users (15.3 percent) and 1,164 were opiate addicts (26.9 percent).

In tackling drug crimes, it’s hard to say whether a focus on prevention from an early age or turning to law enforcement is more important. Campello said people should put more focus on law enforcement.

“More and more countries are realizing the present situation,” Campello said. “China and other countries in the region can really show leadership, implement evidence-based programs and evaluate them with scientific evidence, so I think we are on the right path though there are still a lot to do”.

Source:   3.12.13

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