Newsbrief: China Faces Plague of Yuppie Dopers as Disposable Income in Cities Rises 5/3/02

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China has opened a new front in its war on drugs. Although the nation of 1.2 billion people boasts nearly a million government-identified heroin addicts, a significant methamphetamine habit, and a growing HIV/AIDS epidemic linked to injection drug use, Chinese authorities are now cracking down on a new threat: the yuppie party animal. According to the Straits Times (Singapore), police in Beijing have since February infiltrated 21,000 bars, discotheques and karaoke lounges, doing spot checks for drug users, and have warned or shut down 882 nightspots.

Many white-collar workers are using and dealing in stimulants, such as "ice" (smokable methamphetamine) and "shaking head pills" (as ecstasy is popularly known), Chinese public security officials said. The problem is particularly pronounced in big cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou, they added.

A Chinese sociologist consulted by the Straits Times cited a sort of malaise familiar among upscale young professionals across the industrialized world. Work is the center of their lives, said Chen Lisi of the China Youth College for Political Sciences. There is a spiritual vacuum, she said, and the pressures of city life only ad to the mix. "Young people are stressed out at work, and drugs help them relax. They have money to buy them and they don't think there's any harm in that," she said.

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Issue #235, 5/3/02 Editorial: Return of the Drug Czars | Former British Drug Policy Head Says Legalize it All | Thai Police Death Squads Accused of Killing Drug Dealers | South Dakota Amendment Would Give Criminal Defendants Right to Argue Merits, Applicability and Validity of Laws | Summer Concert Bust Season Gets Early Start in Alabama -- Rockers Can Take Steps to Protect Themselves, Say Advocates | It's National Drug Court Month -- Do You Know What You're Getting for Your Money? The Government Doesn't, Says GAO | Newsbrief: Washington Says Colombian Military Meets Human Rights Conditions, Frees More Money | Newsbrief: Japan to Outlaw Magic Mushrooms, Loophole Slams Shut | Newsbrief: China Faces Plague of Yuppie Dopers as Disposable Income in Cities Rises | Newsbrief: Prospects Dimming For Vermont Medical Marijuana Bill | Newsbrief: Italian Legislative Body Asks for Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: BC Marijuana Party Head to Run for Vancouver Mayor | Newsbrief: Eleven House Pages Fired for Marijuana Use -- NORML Offers Them Jobs | Newsbrief: Connecticut Carpenters Strike Over Wages, Drug Testing | Web Scan: De Greiff, Blumenson, Weitzel, GAO, Canada | Errata: Drug War Race | The Reformer's Calendar
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