Sec­ond-grade drug us­age in­creases 16-fold

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY STEPHANIE CHAO

The Na­tional Po­lice Agency (NPA, ) yes­ter­day re­ported that it has seen a 16-fold in­crease in the tak­ing of sec­ond-grade drugs in the last ten years and that 1,700 stu­dents were among the 41,200 peo­ple found con­sum­ing il­le­gal drugs last year.

A fe­male col­lege stu­dent was found dead af­ter tak­ing il­le­gal drugs last month, and in or­der to ad­dress the wor­ri­some in­crease in stu­dents tak­ing such drugs, the Leg­is­la­ture’s Ed­u­ca­tion and Cul­ture Com­mit­tee in­vited the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion ( MOE, ), Min­istry of Health and Wel­fare (MOHW, ), Min­istry of Jus­tice (MOJ, ) and the NPA to re­port on its mea­sures in com­bat­ing drug abuse among stu­dents and gang in­flu­ence on cam­pus.

Night­clubs are the usual lo­ca­tions for drug use and the drug trade, Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) Leg­is­la­tor Huang Kuo-shu ( ) ex­plained, and asked Tsai Chun-chang ( ), deputy direc­tor-gen­eral of the NPA, to name the num­ber of night­clubs in Tai­wan.

Huang replied that there are 35 night­clubs, ex­plain­ing that what con­sti­tutes a night­club is de­fined and over­seen by the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs ( MOEA, ). Only 35 lo­ca­tions fit the def­i­ni­tion set by the MOEA.

Kuom­intang (KMT) Leg­is­la­tor Chen Bi-han ( ) said that ac­cord­ing to NPA statis­tics from 2005 to 2013, 90 per­cent of stu­dents caught do­ing drugs were do­ing so off school cam­puses. A three-tofive-fold in­crease of stu­dents were tak­ing sec­ond-grade drugs, and a 16-fold in­crease were do­ing ke­tamine and other third-grade drugs.

Drug abuse is def­i­nitely a se­ri­ous prob­lem na­tion­wide, and re­ported to be the num­ber one rea­son for im­pris­on­ment, said Deputy Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Wu Chen-huan (

), cit­ing that im­pris­on­ment rates due to drug us­age rose to 46.3 per­cent by 2014.

Ris­ing Drug Us­age in Younger

Peo­ple

Chen re­ported that sec­ond­grade drug us­age was be­com­ing more and more preva­lent among younger peo­ple. From 2010 to 2014, the num­ber of teenagers caught do­ing drugs rose from 503 to 733, and from 3,036 to 3,928 among young adults.

From 2010 to 2014, third­grade drug-use statis­tics showed the num­bers of teenage users in­creased 16.25 fold, ris­ing from 36 to 621, while young adult num­bers in­creased 13 fold, show­ing a rise from 84 to 1,19 peo­ple.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Wu Se-hwa ( ) said that while the num­ber of stu­dents do­ing drugs has sta­bi­lized in the last two years, the gov­ern­ment must con­tinue to man­age and mon­i­tor drug sources.

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