In the context of global efforts to control the production, distribution and use of narcotic drugs, China's treatment of the problem provides an important means of understanding the social, political, and economic limits of national and international policies to regulate drug practices. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, China was known for its national addiction to opium, but its drug-eradication campaigns from the 1950s to the 1970s achieved unprecedented success that ultimately transformed China into a "drug-free" society. However, since the economic reforms and open-door policy of the late twentieth century, China is now facing a re-emergence of the production, use and trafficking of narcotic drugs. Employing case studies and a comparative historical approach, and drawing on a variety of data sources including historical records, official crime data only recently made available, and news reports, this book is the first English-language publication to provide such a comprehensive documentation and analysis of the nature of China's legal regulation of controlled substances. The authors also offer theoretical approaches for studying drug regulation, aspects of drug consumption cultures, the socio-political treatment of drugs during various historical periods and ongoing efforts to legislate drug trade, criminalize drug use and manage the drug addict population within national and international contexts.
'Empirically grounded and theoretically engaged, the authors deliver a deep and compelling analysis of China and its part in the international web of regulatory developments on drug control. A century on from the start of the global war on drugs, with the Shanghai meetings of the International Opium Commission in 1909, this timely and scholarly analysis will be a key reference for many years to come. It deserves the widest possible audience.' Bill Hebenton, University of Manchester, UK 'The issue of drug use and abuse requires understanding, and it is understanding that is in short supply these days. Lu, Miethe and Liang’s new book contributes to an understanding of drug practices and policies within the convulsive and complex historical context of China.' Liqun Cao, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada 'Lu, Miethe and Liang provide a comprehensive, sophisticated analysis of the consumption and regulation of opiates in China across three historical periods. Through meticulous research, they demonstrate how changing social, political and economic conditions shaped the nature of opium use and its regulation over time. China’s experience offers important lessons for understanding the contemporary global context of drug control, making this clearly written book especially valuable to social scientists, policy makers, and students alike.' Marjorie S. Zatz, Arizona State University, USA 'This book makes an important contribution to the literature of drug regulation in China, and provides a useful theoretical framework and methodologies for understanding institutional arrangements of drug control with intensive and informative evidence. Academic researchers, legislators, health policy makers and even the general public would learn a lot form this book.' Asian Criminology