VI. Raising the Consciousness of the Entire People Against Drugs

The key to drug control work lies in arousing the consciousness of the general public. China regards it as a fundamental and strategic task to raise the consciousness of the whole nation concerning the fight against drugs, and carries out extensive and deep-going drug prevention education among all the people.

Governments at all levels attach great importance to publicizing the dangers of drugs, and formulate plans every year to carry out drug prevention education to persuade the public to turn their backs on drugs. Local drug control departments often carry out education, publicity and consultation activities concerning the dangers of narcotics and the anti-drug laws, using the news media -- newspapers, radio and television programs, and by other methods appealing to the general public, closely cooperating with the departments of publicity, culture, radio, film and television, and press and publications. The NNCC Office and its local branches have also opened special telephone lines providing advice and information on drug-related issues. Yunnan and some other provinces and cities have started periodicals and opened web pages on the Internet in this regard. Every year on June 3, the commemoration date of Lin Zexu's burning of opium stocks in Humen beach, Guangdong Province in 1839, and on June 26, the International Day Against Illicit Drug Trafficking and Abuse, local governments organize large-scale activities to publicize the dangers of narcotics. As drug taking is a major channel for the spread of AIDS, during the period of the World AIDS Day on December 1 every year, public health departments organize publicity activities, with the theme "refuse drugs, and prevent AIDS."

From May to July, 1998, the Chinese government held a two-month national exhibition on drug control. A total of 1.66 million people from all walks of life, including Chinese state leaders and young students, visited it. The exhibition provoked strong repercussions, and exerted a far-reaching influence. The NNCC also turned the contents of the exhibition into a Wall Map of the National Exhibition on Drug Control for distribution throughout the country. It also organized half-year itinerant exhibitions throughout China, at which a total of over 166 million people received education directly. The success of the national exhibition on narcotics control brought China's publicity level in this regard to a new stage, and played an active role in raising the consciousness of the entire people about the drug problem, giving a boost to drug control work in an all-round way.

The Chinese government attaches special importance to drug prevention education for youngsters. Special provisions aimed at protecting young people from drugs are included in the Law of the PRC on the Protection of Minors issued at the 21st meeting of the Standing Committee of the Seventh NPC in 1991, and the Law of the PRC on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency issued at the 10th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ninth NPC in 1999. In pursuance of the guideline of paying special attention to education on narcotics control and prevention among youngsters, governments at all levels take the education of primary and middle school students as a basic part of narcotics control work. In 1997, the State Education Commission (SEC) and the NNCC issued a notice stipulating that drug control education as an integral part of education to improve people's cultural quality should become formally part of the program of ethical education in primary and middle schools, and that anti-drug education should be carried out in diverse forms and with definite aims in view in colleges and universities and primary and middle schools. The NNCC and SEC have jointly compiled a series of anti-drug education pamphlets for students. The CYL has also developed a variety of colorful activities to publicize the dangers of narcotics among young people, and mobilize them to fight against drugs. Many provinces and autonomous regions have unfolded the drug prevention education activities mainly for youngsters. In 1999, according to the requirements of the NNCC, drug control departments at the county level and above established communication centers of drug prevention education in 24,223 primary and middle schools to directly guide the work in schools.

In recent years, integrated with the efforts to develop "drug- free communities," drug control publicity activities have been gradually extended to communities to cover every nook and corner of society. Governments at all levels give every encouragement to sub-district offices, towns and townships, residents and villagers committees in their drug control work by strengthening the construction of organizations of political power at the grassroots level and self-governing mass organizations, and actively carry out basic work on narcotics prevention education, integrating this with the efforts to develop "civilized communities." In the meantime, trade unions, the CYL organizations and the women's federations at all levels carry out anti-drug education among workers and staff members, anti-drug publicity organized by young volunteers, and the activity known as "preventing drugs entering families." Local patriotic religious organizations actively mobilize religious believers and personages of religious circle to fight against drugs, carrying on their good tradition of shunning evil and promoting good. The associations of self-employed laborers and private enterprise operators at various levels have conscientiously carried out the recommendations in the Notice on Extensively Carrying Out Drug Prevention Education Among Self- employed Laborers and Private Enterprise Operators in China issued by the China Self-employed Laborers' Association, and strengthened drug prevention education among the 80 million employees of private enterprises. In recent years, the NNCC has sent various anti-drug publicity materials to compulsory rehabilitation centers, houses of detention, public security houses of detention, reformatories, reeducation-through-labor centers, prisons and work- study schools for juvenile delinquents throughout China to reinforce drug prevention education among the people who are most likely to fall victims to narcotics.

To make drug prevention education a systematic and regular practice, the NNCC has made overall arrangements to carry out the "five-one project" of anti-drug education nationwide from 1999 to 2001: Every province, autonomous region and municipality should establish a drug control education base; every primary and middle school, college and university should carry out an anti-drug education activity each year; and every district should organize a batch of research achievements on anti-drug publicity and theory, produce a number of literary and artistic works, and train a contingent of young volunteers in this regard. The state gives full support to Beijing, Guiyang in Guizhou Province, Dongguan in Guangdong Province and some other cities in their efforts to build permanent drug control education bases. In the meantime, China has published the Yearly Report on Drug Control in China since 1998.