Volunteers show addicts the right path to go

Qian Tong
Jiading has 18,000 volunteers helping combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Qian Tong

Jiading has 18,000 volunteers helping combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Hu Haiping from Jiading New Town has worked as a volunteer for 12 years, helping more than 20 people escape drug addiction. She has separate files for each of them, recording every health check, dialogue and other details.

Communicating with addicts can be difficult, even dangerous, and many are reluctant to talk about their situation. However, Hu never gives up and reaches them by telephone or talks to them through closed doors.

Eventually the addicts come to understand that volunteers are there to help.

Some people who have overcome their addictions still keep in touch with her. During the COVID-19 outbreak, some of them even sent masks to her.

Laoshen became an addict eight years ago when on a business trip. With help from volunteers at a drug rehab center, he felt his life had changed. The people in his former social circle have restarted to accept him, including his son.

“Without Hu Haiping, I might have become an addict again. She led me into another life, and I feel very much at ease now,” he said.

An anti-drug science education center opened to the public in Jiading New Town last month. The center provides immersive experience for visitors with pictures, charts, exhibits and videos.

So far, there are 2,000 backbone volunteers and 16,000 others in Jiading District.

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed every year in the district and other places across the nation on June 26.

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