CHINA DRUG WOES

Man­u­fac­tur­ers of syn­thetic nar­cotics ex­ploit­ing loop­holes in anti-drug laws

New Straits Times - - World -

BEIJING

CHINA’S drug prob­lem is se­vere and grow­ing, the govern­ment said yes­ter­day, with par­tic­u­larly sharp rises in the abuse and pro­duc­tion of syn­thetic drugs, which have be­come a ma­jor health con­cern world­wide.

Chi­nese seizures of metham­phetamine, ke­tamine and other syn­thetic drugs surged by 106 per cent year-on-year in 2016, said Liu Yue­jin, vice-di­rec­tor of the China Na­tional Nar­cotic Con­trol Com­mis­sion.

At the same time, the man­u­fac­ture of drug pre­cur­sors in­creased along with the pro­duc­tion of new psy­choac­tive sub­stances (NPS), chem­i­cals which mimic the ef­fects of il­le­gal drugs while ex­ploit­ing loop­holes in an­tidrug laws.

“Do­mes­tic pro­duc­tion of crys­talline metham­phetamine, ke­tamine, and NPS was se­vere, not only con­sumed in the coun­try but also smug­gled overseas,” Liu said, adding that the mar­ket for syn­thetic drugs kept ex­pand­ing and “in gen­eral, the drug prob­lem is spread­ing at a fast pace.”

Drug-pro­duc­ing ar­eas had ex­panded con­sid­er­ably, he said.

China is be­lieved to be one of the main man­u­fac­tur­ers of syn­thetic drugs, in­clud­ing opioids

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