viernes, 8 de enero de 2016

China's ketamine craze

The drug ketamine is mainly used as an anesthetic, particularly in emergency medicine. But in some countries, it's become popular as a recreational drug. China is one, where the authorities there say its use is soaring among young people while its price continues to drop.

Self-study activity:
Watch the news item and answer the questions below.

1 What do users feel when they are inhaling ketamine?
2 What lasting damage can ketamine bring about?
3 How many people were arrested in a recent raid in Boo-Xua? 
4 Where do drug gangs manufacture ketamine these days?
5 Why are the drug prices dropping?
6 What does '60%' refer to?
Night time in the southern Chinese city of Xan-Jing. Those with money and energy to burn are out to play.
With a secret camera we recorded young men inhaling ketamine, a drug that is soaring in popularity here. Users say ketamine (1) makes them feel like they can fly, but many can’t handle the consequences.
This rehabilitation clinic has seen a leap in the numbers struggling with ketamine. Just three weeks before, this former police officer couldn’t function without it.
The craving was really strong. Every morning I wanted to smoke ketamine. At night the drug kept me up, totally screwed up my life.
Many experience (2) lasting damage to their brains and also their bladders. Some have had their bladders removed, a heavy price to pay. We wanted to know who was profiting.
Ketamine can be made almost anywhere, but there’s one village in China that is notorious for making all kinds of narcotics: Boo-Xua.
This village made headlines when 3,000 paramilitary police swept Boo-Xua, (3) arresting 182 people. But the drug trade lives on, despite repeated raids. We wanted to see the village for ourselves, but it’s a risky trip.
I really feel like we’re being smuggled into this village.
Streets strewn with rubbish. Rising above them, Boo-Xua’s millionaire row thought to be financed with drug money. The land is polluted, littered with by-products of drug production.
Ketamine is technically difficult to make, but Chinese drug gangs cracked the code. Now (4) underground labs manufacture large batches of cheap katemine.
Meeting in an abandoned factory, this villager tells us the drug trade will continue in the shadows. He insists he’s not involved in actually making drugs, but many of his relatives have been arrested.
Drug prices are dropping because (5) they are easier to make. Too many know how to manufacture them now.
Ketamine is becoming a significant illegal export. (6) 60% of the world’s ketamine seizures take place on the narrow boundary between mainland China and Hong-Kong. Unless the Chinese authorities crack down on this drug, many worry it will spread even further beyond China’s borders.
Celia Hutton, BBC News, One-Doon.