Published: 18 February, 2021 | Volume 5 - Issue 1 | Pages: 009-011
Global drug use has reached epidemic levels, with approximately 269 million drug users worldwide . Problematic drug use may lead to serious physical, social, and mental health problems. An estimated 167,000 deaths attributed to drug-related disorders worldwide in 2017 . The rising global drug use and its severe adverse consequences make the drug treatment/rehabilitation a top priority for policymakers. In modern China, illicit drug use has raised great concern from both the academia and the public. Nearly 2.15 million Chinese were registered as drug users in 2019 . Drug-related crimes and deaths are also increasing . The current drug treatment programs in China are mainly compulsory, addressing coercion and discipline. However, the effectiveness was found to be low . Situated in the fields of social work, public health, and psychology, Chinese scholars and practitioners have conducted some empirical tests for these drug treatment/rehabilitation programs and already found several effective preventive factors in the programs. However, the existing research on the design and evaluation of Chinese drug treatment/rehabilitation programs rarely investigate the theoretical rationales behind these programs. This study would address three criminological theories that have been applied to explain drug treatment and rehabilitation in Western societies: Differential Association Theory, Social Bonding Theory, and Labeling Theory. Similar theoretical rationales could be learnt and adopted by Chinese programs.