Over 40 Chinese Officials Fired For Testing Positive For Drugs

By John Lavitt 12/16/14

Government officials cracked down hard on the Golden Triangle.

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With the western Yunnan Province on the border of the Golden Triangle, the Chinese government is cracking down hard on drug abuse and corruption.

Forty-one grassroots party cadres have been punished for taking drugs as local authorities close in on rampant drug usage among its rank and file. According to the local party disciplinary watchdog group, the 41 officials were fired from their respective jobs, expelled from the Communist Party, and sent to drug rehabilitation.

The disciplinary actions came after a rash of positive tests for crystal meth and heroin. Government officials and office workers are subject to regular urine tests as part of the crackdown on the rampant drug trade in the prefecture. Although most of the officials were from the rank and file, the group surprisingly included the head of the Armed Forces Department in Longchuan County. The majority of the rank and file caught were government office workers and even retired officials.

It is important to note that drug rehabilitation in China is a far cry from the luxury rehabs of Malibu. More like prison, the government-run drug rehabilitation centers still rely on the old re-education techniques of the Cultural Revolution. By focusing on ideology and party loyalty, drug rehabilitation in China often fails to address the actual disease of addiction.

Bordering Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, the Yunnan Province is reportedly the center of illegal drug smuggling into China. Famed for its booming drug trade, the Golden Triangle fuels corruption and local drug problems. Both affordable and easily available, the drugs have infiltrated all parts of local society.

According to UNODC data, China dismantled 228 clandestine laboratories producing methamphetamine in 2012. In November 2014, police incinerated a staggering 400 tons of meth in Guangdong. Still with the drugs fueling corruption, the problems China faces with the Golden Triangle have no end in sight.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.