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Just Say NO 每搅  


 Drug abuse ( fan du) is a huai maobing (bad habit) learned from the West. Everyone knows that in Europe and especially decadent America, drug abuse is a rampant social problem. Since China opened its doors to foreign investment this social side-effect has reared its ugly head here, but not for the first time...

In the early 18th century the British East India Company gained control of the yapian (opium)-growing districts of eastern India and began selling yapian to China. As the sale of opium into China and drain of silver out of the country started to get out of hand, China confined foreign trade to Guangzhou where it could be restricted and controlled in the interests of revenue. Thats when Hong Kong merchants stepped in as intermediaries between the Chinese authorities and the greedy, rapacious Ւ laowai drug-pushers.

Indeed, the descendants of those very narcotics middlemen are none other than the Hong Kong businessmen and women who play a similar role in brokering foreign trade with China today. And the biggest Hong Kong trading houses are run by the descendants of the opium dealers. At the time whod have guessed that muddy Hong Kong would one day be a sprawling metropolis and venerated jinrong zhongxin (financial center)?

On June 3, 1839, in an effort to stop the illegal opium trade, an ӥۄ qinchai dachen (imperial envoy) named ڭ Lin Zexu seized and destroyed boatloads of British opium. In 1840 tensions over the opium trade culminated in the Yapian Zhanzheng (Opium War) with Britains invasion of Guangzhou. Chinese wushu (martial arts) was no match for British cannons and warships, and China lost the war summarily.

The opium problem continued to worsen throughout the century. By 1885 many peasants all over China were growing yingsu (opium poppies) instead of food. Opium continued to be a thorn in Chinas side until after jiefang (liberation), when the gongchandang (Communist Party) finally Π caiqu cuoshi (took steps) necessary to banish opium from China. The use of mandatory treatment and execution of dealers to stem the drug tide worked in the 1950s and all but eliminated drug use in China.

China subsequently enjoyed a drug-free period that continued until the 悺 jingji gaige kaifang (Economic Reforms and Opening Up) of the 1980s, when Չ fandu jituan (drug traffickers) started bringing drugs back into China through Yunnan, Guangxi and Guangdong.

By 1989 there were over 70,000 official drug users in China. In 1997, estimates were that nearly half a million people under the age of 35 were hooked on hard 搅 dupin (drugs) such as ³ hailuoyin (heroin). In response, officials launched a peoples war against drugs, which included stepping up execution of drug dealers and mandatory, rigorous treatment for addicts. The average cost of drug treatment to the patient is more than half a years wages. But patients unanimously agree that theyd much rather pay for the treatment than the alternatively low-priced but zhiming (deadly) execution bullet.

Despite the peoples war on drugs, heroin continues to be a problem in China, due largely to the countrys proximity to the Jinsanjiao (Golden Triangle), where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet. The opium fields of the region are one of the worlds largest heroin laiyuan (sources).

Heroin is one of a group of opiates which, like opium, are derived from the opium poppy. Opium contains ͅ mafei (morphine) and codeine, both effective painkillers. Heroin is made from morphine and in its pure form is a white powder. Heroin and other opiates are sedative drugs that depress the nervous system, slow down body functioning and are able to combat both physical and emotional pain. The effect is usually to give a feeling of warmth, relaxation and detachment with a lessening of anxiety. Effects start quickly and can last several hours, depending on how much is taken and how. First time users sometimes experience ҭ exin (nausea) and vomiting but dont worry, these unpleasant reactions fade with regular use to be replaced by sleeplessness, anxiety, paranoia, disinclination to work, weight loss, terror, physical deterioration and death.

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, better known as ecstasy, has become popular in Chinas cities among young people. The drug goes by the Chinese name Յ yaotouwan (head-rocking pill). Its a stimulant with mild huanjue (hallucinogenic) effects used to stay up for ծ tongxiao (all-night) dancing. On the downside, there is often brief nausea, sweating, dry mouth and throat. xueya (blood pressure) and heart rate increases and loss of shiyu (appetite) is common. A visit to your home by the Public Security Bureau can induce similar physiological responses, but prolonged use leads to a permanent idiotic grin and an inability to stop saying the word " ku (cool) whereas a visit to your home by the PSB only does the former.

The drug with which Chinas Ւ laowai community is most familiar is undoubtedly ۬ dama (cannabis). Cannabis was first documented as an herbal remedy in a Chinese pharmacy text of the first century AD. Cannabis is usually rolled into a cigarette or joint and smoked. Cannabis can also be smoked in a pipe or ƋÆ shuiyanhu (water pipe), brewed into a tea or cooked into cakes or brownies. Generally cannabis makes people relax. They may become giggly and lusuo (talkative) or alternatively quieter and subdued. The use of Cannabis ڬ da luan (wreaks havoc) on organizational skills and short term memory. Frequent inhalation of Beijing kongqi (air) or cannabis smoke can cause ߐЋ zhiqiguanyan (bronchitis), fei ai (lung cancer) and feiqizhong (emphysema).

Finally, kekayin (cocaine) is made from the leaves of the coca shrub, which grows in the mountainous regions of South America. Cocaine is a strong but short acting stimulant drug. Users feel more alert and ӌ huoyue (energetic) but they also quickly Ҵ shangyin. You might say longtime cokeheads have a ҴՅ yintou (addiction, strong interest). Cocaine Ҵײ yinjunzi (addicts) spend ۱ yi da bi qian (a lot of money), choji (squabble) with their friends and family and ٱ chang liu biti (always have a runny nose).


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