No pain no gain, establishing the Kunming, China, drug rehabilitation center

Clyde B. McCoy, Shenghan Lai, Lisa R. Metsch Xue-ren, Wang Cong Li Ming, Yang Li Yulong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The Yunnan Province in China may be experiencing the highest incidence of heroin use in China, in part because of its proximity to the Golden Triangle. This high incidence, as elsewhere, threatens to increase associated problems in China, including the spread of HIV. Furthermore, the high purity of heroin used in this Province leads to rapid addiction and increased difficulties in treating the symptoms of withdrawal. One response to this epidemic is the development and implementation of the Kunming Drug Rehabilitation Center. The Center, with a capacity for 620 addicts, is grounded in a recovery-oriented perspective that is based on the Therapeutic Community model and modified for the Yunnan Province and China. It is referred to as the Kunming Model and is known for the development of its own medicine for detoxification and its individualized psychological, psychiatric, medical, and biosocial program. Similarities and differences between the Kunming Center and treatment programs in the United States are discussed and implications for universal approaches to drug treatment are addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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