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Recovery gives youth new chance at life

By Zhang Yuchen and Wang Shanshan (China Daily)

08:14, June 24, 2013

Hu Xiaojia, 21, on the last day of his three-month stay in Beijing Drug Rehabilitation Center. He began to use drugs at age 14. WANG JING / CHINA DAILY

Drug use a rising issue among the young, report Zhang Yuchen and Wang Shanshan in Beijing.

Although it was the last day of his three-month recovery program at a drug rehabilitation center, Hu Xiaojia didn't expect a farewell party. He knew no one would be waiting to greet him on the outside and help him reintegrate into society.

Sitting at a square table, still drowsy from his noon nap, Hu is one of the 1,000 voluntary recovering addicts at the center.

"I waited all morning for you to arrive, preparing a complete version of my story, but I fell asleep because you turned up later than I expected and it was noon," he said, looking like a naughty teenager smiling in the sunshine.

At 21, he is the youngest patient at the Beijing Drug Rehabilitation Center, and he doesn't feel like looking back at his "bloody and tearful" teenage years. In fact, he'd rather forget about his past life entirely.

The problem started at a heroin party with friends at a dance hall in Shanxi province when he was 14, but perhaps his addiction could have been foreseen. When he was young, Hu's parents separated and married new partners, both of whom were strangers to him.

"Why did I begin to use the drug? Well, my parents said I was a bad child," he said. His voice became toneless and his smile was replaced with a slightly resentful and cold look. "I believed their comments, which, as I have recently realized, triggered my low self-esteem."

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:GaoYinan、Zhang Qian)

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