Kicking the habit
- By Richard Branson -
- Sep 28, 2012
China is beginning to take the lead over America by treating heroin as a health problem, rather than a criminal issue. This is about helping rather than punishing people.
The Economist reported on how an innovative new drug-rehabilitation programme run by the narcotics bureau of the provincial police department is having a positive effect in Guizhou.
The Sunshine Project focuses is on humane rather than punitive treatment, and is a marked departure from the restrictive approach of the past, which saw incarceration as the likely outcome for drug users in need of help.
Officials have claimed reductions in crime rates and HIV infection among drug users, while Hu Xiaomei, director of the Honghuagang district drug-control office in Zunyi, told the Economist how punishment for serious traffickers is being separated from treatment of drug users.
He said: “Serious criminals need to be handled according to law. But our new approach towards ordinary users is that they are victims and patients who need help.”
Head over to The Economist to read the whole article and let us know what you think.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group