BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The number of drug addicts in China is still slowly growing, a report released by the National Narcotics Control Commission said Monday.
According to the report, there were about 2.51 million drug users in the country by the end of 2016, an increase of 6.8 percent year on year.
Among them, about 22,000 people were under 18, and more than 1.46 million were aged from 18 to 35, according to the report, which added that the percentage of new addicts belonging to these two groups dropped in 2016.
The expansion of drug users addicted to heroin slowed in the year, while the number addicted to synthetic drugs, including methamphetamine and ketamine, increased faster, the report said.
About 1.52 million drug users were addicted to synthetic drugs in 2016.
China launched a project to promote community drug detoxification and rehabilitation in 2015. The project focused on setting up local institutions and recruiting volunteers. About 81,000 staff and volunteers are now working for community-based rehab programs.
China's anti-drug efforts have also intensified, with Chinese police arresting 168,000 suspects for drug production or trafficking, and solving 140,000 drug-related criminal cases last year.