New types of drugs becoming major problem

Zhu Yuting
Putuo prosecutors say psychotropic drugs being disguised as diet or sleeping pills on WeChat or e-commerce platforms making it hard for young people to distinguish between them.
Zhu Yuting

Increases in new types of drugs, online trafficking and illegal medicines have become the main problems in drug-related cases in the past five years, prosecutors in Putuo District said on Tuesday, ahead of Saturday's International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Saturday.

In a case last year, Xue, a drug dealer, sold sleeping pills containing zolpidem, one of the main ingredients of psychotropic drugs, to Li, via WeChat.

After Li paid, Xue asked other people to purchase sleeping pills from Japan and send them directly to Li. The whole trafficking process was completed online.

Psychotropic drugs were disguised as diet or sleeping pills on WeChat or e-commerce platforms. It was hard for young people to distinguish between them, according to a report issued by the Putuo procuratorate at a press conference.

The report showed that most drug dealers are under 40. The undereducated or unemployed were more likely to traffic drugs. Most traffickers had drug-dealing or other criminal records.

The procuratorate charged 466 people in 402 drug-related cases in the past five years with 117 cases in 2016 and 46 cases in 2020. The sharp decline year by year was due to harsh and persistent crackdowns, the report said.

The number of cases related to allowing others to take drugs and illegal possession had dropped significantly, and the number of cases of smuggling, trafficking, transporting, and producing drugs had also declined.

The report proposes increasing crackdowns and punishments of drug-related activities and improving awareness of staying away from all kinds of drugs.

The procuratorate is to hold an open-day activity for minors on Thursday to highlight the hazards of drug abuse.

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