In Hong Kong, where drug abuse has long been one of the most serious social problems, a Government campaign against the major trafficking syndicates is beginning to show signs of success.
In Hong Kong, where drug abuse has long been one of the most serious social problems, a Government campaign against the major trafficking syndicates is beginning to show signs of success. Police say most of the major distribution lines have been eliminated. This has, in turn, severely cut back the supply of illicit drugs available for sale on the streets of the colony. Concerned about the social and psychological implications, the Hong Kong government has earmarked nearly ten million dollars (U.S.) for the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts. More than 20,000 addicts have registered for methadone detoxification treatment, one of the most successful methods of weaning habitual users of heroin or opium off dependence on these drugs.
SYNOPSIS: Hong Kong's stand against the spread of drug addiction came under fire recently when the authorities raided the flat of a woman, 102 years old, and seized. her opium smoking equipment. Mrs Lee Sew Hing says she has been smoking opium for more than 60 years. Without embarrassment, she says the drug is her lifeline, without which she would die. Mrs Lee is a living reminder of the days when Hong Kong was a flourishing opium trade centre. Up until World War Two, Mrs Lee bought her daily ration directly from the Hung Kong government, which had a large share of the trade.
Mrs Lee, whose age has been marked by a "Grand old Lady" medal, is cared for by a 72 year old daughter. She said her mother suffered extreme withdrawal pains since her smoking equipment was seized, until the Government put her onto a programme of methadone detoxification. The yellow liquid substitute is taken once a day, and according to a spokesman, is playing a vital role in the colony's fight against drug abuse.