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Home >> China
UPDATED: 08:05, February 08, 2007
Beijing may force drug abusers into year-long rehab
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Beijing police say they may force the city's drug addicts to attend the year-long rehabilitation programs as authorities recruit volunteers to keep tabs on drug-taking in the city's night clubs and other public places.

"In 2007, the focus of police's anti-drug efforts will shift from public (entertainment) venues to individual abusers," said Fu Zhenghua, deputy director of the Beijing Public Security Bureau.

"We do not rule out the possibility of compelling all drug abusers in the capital to give up their addictions before the Olympics," he said.

The compulsory rehabilitation term for drug abusers would be extended to one year from current half year, Fu said.

Beijing police will recruit anti-drug volunteers from the staff of entertainment venue. Each venue will have at least five volunteers, who will not only promote the city's anti-drug message but also report drug abuse to police.

City authorities say the capital has about 26,000 registered drug abusers, 88 percent of them under 35. The abusers account for 0.18 percent of the city's total population of 14 million.

Last June, city police launched a special campaign, involving 18,000 police officers, in a crack-down on drugs in the city's night clubs, spas and karaoke bars last June.

Drug related crimes were discovered in 38 entertainment venues and 11 that their operating licenses suspended and three three shut down.

Fu said the capital reached its goal of wiping out drug use in entertainment venues last year.

Entertainment venues that are found involved in drugs will be heavily fined and closed for three to six months this year, according to the bureau.

Owners of entertainment venues can be banned for life from working in the industry if their establishments are found to be involved in illegal drug activities, according to the city's narcotics control authorities.

The city's narcotics control authorities arrested 4,065 people on drug-related charges in the first 11 months last year and seized 249 kilograms of various drugs.

Beijing will also begin to use sniffer dogs to detect drugs in public places, such as bus, subway and railway stations, shopping malls, parks and theatres this year, according to the bureau.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, the country has now 720,000 drug abusers. More than 200,000 drug addicts underwent compulsory rehabilitation programs in the first eight months of last year.

Source: Xinhua

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