Reading the news about the opioid epidemic in places like Ohio and middle America elicit mixed feelings in me. I attended primary and junior high school in Shanghai in the 50’s where Chinese history is mandatory. Even today I would think Opium Wars are taught in schools there which left an ineluctable mark in my psychic. When I arrived in Hong Kong in 59 I can’t believe there were addicts there using heroin. Britain forced opium on Chinese in the name of free trade. During the 60s, heroin was mostly a drug for the ghettos and black people., while marijuana was prevalent in colleges for white students I refrain from touching it and the only time I touched cigarette was when I was a child I lighted the cigarettes for my grandma from the coal stove. In a way you can say I was brainwashed or immunized against drug use and Western values.
On the one hand I think white American is reaping the harvest of seeds they sown, yet one can’t help but be sad when one reads about children calling 911 while their parents pass out in the car. The profit motive for drugs, incessant advertising for pain relief, the pressure of life when opportunities disappear all play a role. Even in China today there is some drug use among entertainment stars and in urban areas. Various solutions like Singapore’s zero tolerance and heavy penalties, Philippine’s death squads, U.S.’s heavy incarceration rate, or Europe’s free drug use in controlled clinics are all in use and failing. I think education as taught in China is the only effective solution together with effective enforcement.