V. Treatment and Rehabilitation

To protect the physical and mental health of Chinese citizens, maintain public order, and wipe out once and for all the scourge of drugs, the Chinese government attaches great importance to and vigorously carries out the work of drug prohibition and the rehabilitation of addicts. To this end, it has adopted comprehensive measures for the rehabilitation of addicts, and their treatment and recovery, integrated with compulsory measures and social help and education, in a concerted effort to eradicate drug abuse and save drug addicts.

According to Chinese law, drug takers must be rehabilitated.

Therefore, an investigation and registration system and monitoring networks of drug abuse have been established throughout the country, regularly collecting data and materials, and promptly monitoring the conditions of addicts. The State Council has promulgated the Procedures for Compulsory Drug Addiction Rehabilitation, and the related department has formulated the Guiding Principles for Commonly Used Therapies Applicable to Opiates Addicts and the Procedures for the Control of Pharmaceuticals for Drug Addiction Treatment, to standardize the work of the rehabilitation and treatment of addicts in China. The state has also established drug dependence research centers, drug abuse monitoring centers, drug dependence treatment centers and narcotic drugs laboratories, and organized scientific research institutions and experts to conduct research on scientific methods of rehabilitation for addicts and pharmaceuticals for drug addiction treatment. Proceeding from its concrete conditions, China has adopted various measures to rehabilitate addicts, taking compulsory measures as the main principle. All addicts are sent to compulsory rehabilitation centers established by governments at all levels. Those who resume drugs after receiving compulsory treatment are sent to reeducation-through-labor centers administered by judicial departments, where they are forced to undergo treatment side by side with reeducation through physical labor. Addicts who are unsuitable for receiving treatment in compulsory rehabilitation centers are ordered to give up within a definite time period under the guardianship of their family members and the education and administration of the local public security stations. Some local medical institutions also offer services for the rehabilitation and treatment of volunteer addicts.

In some areas, measures adaptable to local conditions have also been taken to supervise and help addicts become rehabilitated through mass organizations and organizations at the grassroots level.

In China, addicts mainly receive treatment at compulsory rehabilitation centers and treatment and reeducation-through-labor centers -- special schools for educating and saving addicts from ruin. Specific and concrete provisions are formulated in the Procedures for Compulsory Drug Addiction Rehabilitation on the construction, administration, rehabilitation measures and welfare provisions of compulsory rehabilitation centers. Chinese public security and judicial organs have also formulated regulations on the hierarchical and standardized administration of compulsory rehabilitation centers and treatment and reeducation-through-labor centers. Governments at all levels also earmark large amounts of funds for the establishment of special rehabilitation centers each year. At present, China has a total of 746 compulsory rehabilitation centers and 168 treatment and reeducation-through- labor centers (teams). In 1999, over 224,000 and 120,000 addicts received treatment at compulsory rehabilitation centers and treatment and reeducation-through-labor centers, respectively. The rehabilitation centers carry out strict, scientific and civilized administration according to law, adhering to the principle of saving addicts through reform education. They offer to addicts safe and scientific treatment, legal and moral education, and strict training to correct their behavior, and organize them to learn scientific and general knowledge, carry out varied and stimulating recreational and sports activities, and engage in appropriate productive labor, by which they can both improve their physical agility and master skills to earn their livings. All the income from their work is used to improve their living conditions.

To fully respect and guarantee the legal rights and interests of addicts, the centers carry out an open security system and voluntarily lay their work open to the supervision of the deputies to the NPC and the general public. State narcotics control organs and health and anti-epidemic departments jointly carry out the work of survey, education, prevention and cure in connection with AIDS at the centers, and conduct investigations into HIV infection among addicts in some provinces. Endeavoring to realize standardized administration, a number of centers in Yunnan, Guizhou, Gansu and Guangdong provinces have created the experience of "undergoing treatment along hospital lines, offering education along school lines, managing the environment along garden lines and achieving rehabilitation along labor lines," and have been called "places of rebirth where I bade farewell to drugs" by many addicts.

To solve the difficult problem of the high rate of relapse, the Chinese government carries out the work of continuous help and education for rehabilitated addicts upon their return to society, relying on the masses and mobilizing all social forces. Local public security organs, community organizations, units and families closely cooperate with rehabilitation centers to establish a social help and education system and various types of help and education groups, and fully carry out the relevant measures, organically integrating compulsory rehabilitation with help, education and consolidation measures. Mass organizations, including the trade unions, the Communist Youth League (CYL) organizations, the women's federations and the associations of self-employed industrialists and businessmen, help with the work of rehabilitating addicted women, workers and staff members, young people and self-employed laborers by making full use of their own advantages, to great effect. Governments at all levels and grassroots organizations actively help the rehabilitated addicts to solve concrete problems in their life and work, so that they will not be discriminated against in employment or admission to higher education. Many addicts have returned to society and started to lead a new life upon successful rehabilitation.

Narcotics prohibition and the rehabilitation of addicts are breakthrough points in the effort to completely solve the drug problem. In recent years, the Inner Mongolia and Guangxi autonomous regions and Yunnan, and Guizhou provinces have gradually probed a new way of motivating the drug control work as a whole--starting with the grassroots units (communities), and stressing drug prohibition and the rehabilitation of addicts, to establish "drug-free communities." The basic procedure is as follows: With small communities in cities (sub-districts) and the countryside (towns and townships) as the lowest units, and under the unified leadership of the organs of state power in the communities, establishing administrative and working responsibility systems of drug prohibition covering the whole community, dividing up the responsibilities and assigning a part to each unit and individual to realize the "drug-free" target and establish "drug-free communities," continuously enlarging their coverage, and finally realizing the "drug-free" target in a particular county, city or province. Baotou City in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is a model in this regard. The drug problem used to be very serious in the city. However, there has been a drive to pronounce communities there "drug-free" since 1994, stressing drug prohibition and the rehabilitation of addicts, and establishing the working system of dividing the responsibilities among the help and education groups and all the local grassroots units. In this way, a situation has been created where all people in Baotou are taking part in the anti-drug struggle. At present, the city has a total of 2,169 help and education groups, implementing the related measures to over 2,000 addicts, and the consolidation rate of rehabilitation over one year has reached more than 70 percent. It has also established 1,436 "drug-free communities" (90.2 percent of the total), and basically realized the "drug-free" target in the entire area.

Experience has proved that the drive to make communities drug- free conforms to the situation in China and the strategic requirements of mobilizing the entire people to treat the drug problem comprehensively. "Drug-free community" is an effective vehicle for protracted combat vs drugs. In 1999, the NNCC publicized nationwide the advanced experience of Baotou and other cities and made arrangements for activities to establish "drug- free communities" across the country.