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Narcotics Control in Southwestern China

NCJ Number
Crime and Justice International Volume: 14 Issue: 20 Dated: September 1998 Pages: 15-18
T. Stone
Date Published
September 1998
4 pages
This article describes the comprehensive drug-control strategy used in the Chinese Province of Yunnan, which borders both Laos and Myanmar (Burma), considered to be two of the major suppliers of opium to the world.
Opium cultivation is one of the major sources of income for those who live in these regions, and the local governments within Myanmar and Laos have had a history of supporting the populace growing drugs. Realizing these difficulties, Yunnan has launched a major campaign to combat narcotics by using various strategies. From a law enforcement perspective, drug control in Yunnan rests with the Drug Control Bureau, a separate department established under the command of the Provincial Public Security Department. Detachments of drug control police units are organized at the prefectural level; regiments of police drug control units are assigned at the county level. Yunnan has strengthened source blockading through an increase in exit and entry inspections conducted by police, the military, and civilians. In addition to law enforcement efforts, Yunnan has focused on prevention through the use of education. The national Drug Control Committee and the State Education Commission have initiated a campaign of narcotics awareness in the middle and primary schools. Drug treatment is also a focus. Within China, all drug addicts are required by law to register with the local government. The government then compels the addict to attend one of the regional, government- sponsored detoxification facilities. Within the Yunnan Province of China, there are 85 compulsory rehabilitation centers. These facilities treat approximately 20,000 addicts annually. The community rallies behind the addicts and assists them in their rehabilitation and entrance back into society. Realizing that confronting drug control within China alone would not solve the problem, due to the source of the narcotics problem emanating from outside the country, the Yunnan administration, with the support of the Chinese government, has begun an international cooperation campaign.


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