Dramatic raid on remote Chinese meth-cooking village - big rise in youth drug use

This spectacular raid by 3,000 armed police illustrates the enormous problem worldwide for authorities tackling drug production. The scale of production in the settlement was huge, and around one fifth of its 1,700 households manufactured methamphetamine. The situation was an open secret but it seems likely that producers were warned of previous raids by corrupt officials. Although this well organised and well photographed raid appears to have been unusually successful, the story also highlights the need for effective drug prevention education in China and in other consumer countries.

China has seen a big spike in demand for synthetic drugs. Accurate statistics are obviously hard to establish, but use of synthetic drugs by registered drug users has grown from around 7% in 2005 to 40% last year, with an estimated 86% being under 18 years of age. Young people tend to associate the drugs with entertainment rather than with addiction and long term health problems.