Reawakening the dragon: Changing patterns of opiate use in Asia, with particular emphasis on China's Yunnan Province

Clyde B. McCoy, H. Virginia McCoy, Shenghan Lai, Zhinuan Yu, Xue Ren Wang, Jie Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Asian countries adjacent to the Golden Triangle and their neighbors have witnessed an evolution in "drug abuse" from traditional opium smoking to heroin eating, smoking, and finally heroin injection. A recent study of 630 heroin users was conducted in China's Yunnan Province, located close to the Golden Triangle. Data collected between August 1997 and February 1998 indicate injecting heroin users, in comparison to noninjectors, were more likely to have used drugs for a longer period of time, and to use drugs more frequently everyday. Other major differences existed between urban and rural subjects, especially highlighting differences between men and women. Women comprised a much higher proportion of urban subjects than rural subjects. Rural injectors were much more likely to be male, but urban injectors were almost evenly split between men and women. The emerging epidemic of heroin use in China and the continuing substance abuse problem in the United States provide an opportunity for collaborative research of mutual benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-69
Number of pages21
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 18 2001



  • China
  • Golden Triangle
  • Injecting drug use
  • Opiate use
  • Yunnan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this