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Internet Addiction Treatment Involves Military-Style Training, Leaves One Dead

Posted: 06/16/2014 8:00 am

A teenage internet addict wired to a machine. Photo credit: Hilda Medalia and Miao Wang

A 19 year-old is dead and a 14 year-old was seriously injured after undergoing intensive physical training at a military-style boot camp in Zhengzhou, Hebei Province to cure them of Internet addiction.

On May 19, a teen named Lingling repeatedly begged the teacher at Boqiang to stop the training session according to the father of a younger teen named Xinxin who survived the training. The exercise involves lunging forward and bending backward (前倒后倒) but specific details were not provided. The father said his daughter Xinxin saw Lingling was bleeding and covered her belly with her hands, but the training was still not called off and continued on for another two hours, reported China National Radio on June 15.

Lingling eventually collapsed, but one teacher surnamed Ma accused her of playing possum while she lay unconscious on the ground. Water was forced into Lingling’s mouth at one point, according to Xinxin.

Teenagers in an internet cafe in Beijing. Photo credit: Dan Chuang

The reason for the punishment was not disclosed in the report, and when Xinxin asked teacher Ma what she had done wrong, Ma ordered Xinxin to do 500 “forward lunges” before revealing anything, the report said.

When reached by the newspaper, the school did not shy away from admitting it employs the physical punishment, and said doling out punishment was inevitable in the camp. In more than 300 treatment centers like this one across China, teens undergo military-inspired physical training. Additionally, the teens take medication or are administered electric shock therapy to help them quit their internet addiction, which is recognized as a clinical disorder in China.

Often referred to as “electronic heroin”, internet addiction has become such an issue in China that state media has labeled it the “third Opium War“. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the country has 618 million internet users. Of the 618 million, China’s National People’s Congress estimates about 10 percent of users under the age of 18 are addicted.

All teenagers enrolled in the institution are advised to strictly follow the center’s rules. In the first two months in the camp, each teen is assigned to a specific teacher who eats, dines and even goes to the toilet with them. Parents are not allowed to write letters to check on their children unless the teens write them first.

The tragedy that happened at the center has done little to stop desperate parents from sending their children to the camp. More than 20 days later, parents were still seen sending teenaged children there in a last-ditch effort to keep their kids from going online where the virtual world appears to be more attractive than the actual world.

Photos: Dan Chuang, Hilda Medalia and Miao Wang


Poppy Opiate Used at Foshan Restaurant to Make Food “Tastier”

Posted: 04/15/2014 7:30 am

If you have found yourself addicted to a specific stewed duck or goose dish at a restaurant in Shishan in Foshan, well, it might actually be addiction.

A restaurant located in Foshan’s Nanhai district was found to have been adding an illegal poppy opiate to their stewed meat dishes since December 2011 in order to make them “tastier”, Yangcheng Evening News reported on April 13.

The restaurant’s unscrupulous act was exposed in late February this year when 10 men from a KTV club were tested positive for morphine in a police check. The initial suspicion was drugs, but one person surnamed Cao insisted he and his friends didn’t use drugs and suspected the dishes they had earlier that evening.

Taking the hint, the police raided the restaurant in question the following day. A thorough check of the kitchen led to the discovery of a brown-colored bottle containing opium, morphine, poppy pods and other illegal additives. According to the report, the “spice” was regularly given to the chef by the restaurant owner. Each day, the special spice was used around 10 times, mainly in stewed duck and goose. Within half a month, a bottle of approximately 100 grams could be consumed, the report said.

On April 11, the restaurant owner and the chef were arrested for using the illegal additives and endangering customers’ health.

Poppy seeds are not uncommon in Guangdong or throughout parts of China. It was traditionally used in dishes until recently banned. In Chongqing, it has been routinely used in hotpot dishes. Some mala tang (麻辣烫) and marinated foods also use poppy seedpods for extra flavors.

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Guangzhou restaurants busted for adding addictive poppy powder to food

Posted: 10/15/2013 10:00 am

If food at some Guangzhou restaurants tastes so good you can’t wait to go back, this could be why.  It turns out a couple of restaurants in the City of Five Rams have been adding poppy powder – which is highly addictive, and illegal – to their dishes.

Want China Times reported:

The irregularity was first uncovered by the Guangzhou Food and Drug Administration in June last year. During a spot check of 70 of the city’s restaurants, inspection officials found that two of the restaurants were using the addictive poppy powder in marinade bags.

The kitchen staff at the two restaurants initially told inspection officials that they had no idea what was in the bags, and claimed that were delivered in that way by suppliers. However, they later reneged and admitted that the bags contained poppy powder.

Both restaurants were fined RMB50,000.

Despite the highly addictive nature of poppy powder, consuming it may be among the least bad things you might eat at Guangzhou restaurants.

(h/t Shanghaiist)


Guy in Guangdong grows opium poppies in the open

Posted: 04/5/2013 2:36 pm

People passing through Meihua County in Lechan, Shaoguan City recently noticed almost 2,000 gorgeous purple flowers in full bloom in a remote vegetable plot.  While people were impressed by the flowers, nobody realized what they were until the police happened to stop by.

Image credit: The Guardian

It turns out the flowers were opium poppies, according to media reports. Police moved in and eradicated the poppies, and now the hunt is on for whoever planted them.

Meihua country is a remote, steep mountainous area in the north of Lechang. The 1,999 poppies were discovered by police doing regular patrols in the area. Planting opium is against Chinese law, and it didn’t take too long for Shaoguan Police’s anti-drug detachment and the Lechang criminal investigation brigade to destroy all 1,999 plants.

Police believe a villager in the area surnamed Qiu planted the poppies, and they are on the hunt for him now.  It’s believed he slipped away as soon as he knew police discovered his crops.

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