Beijing: Most addicts in China’s largest city, Shanghai use synthetic drugs and get stoned before they are 30 years old, a latest survey has found.
The survey, conducted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS), showed 58.6% of addicts in Shanghai this year had used synthetic drugs like ice, ecstasy and ketamine. The figure is nearly 20% higher than it has last year.
A professor with the SASS, Xia Guomei, who took part in the study, said most had initially experimented with the drugs for fun, some starting as early as 12.
Among the 730 synthetic drug addicts interviewed, 295 of them got stoned for the first time when they were between 21 and 30, and 126 were 20 or under. Nearly all of them procured the drugs from entertainment centres.
“Many think offering drugs at parties and discos is fun, and a cool thing to do, drawing the attention and envy of others,” the Shanghai Youth Daily said.
Bulk of the drug abusers were educated and from the upper or middle class. Also, frequent use of words like trendy and intoxicating were responsible for seeding a cultural environment for drugs. People tend to think it makes them different from others.
Anti-drug officials have been asked to pay closer attention to the trend and take appropriate measures.
Although synthetic drugs do not cause deep physical addiction like heroin, they create psychological addictions and hallucinations, which are also harmful. The SASS study has called for stricter rules to ban the drugs, take up more awareness and education programmes and step up rehabilitation facilities.