Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are global problems that most countries are working hard to try to mitigate. In China, the authorities are striving to cut down on drug abuse, especially among celebrities.
There has been a wide scale policy to crack down on the abuse of drugs, and they have targeted celebrities to provide more visibility of the problem, and the risks of abuse. One of the latest celebrities targeted in their anti-drug crackdown is Jaycee Chan, the son of kung fu star Jackie Chan.
Jaycee Chan's Arrest
Jaycee Chan is an actor like his father. He was detained in Beijing along with Kai Ko, a Taiwanese actor, during a police raid in the Dongcheng district, which is the city's cultural and commercial center. Both of the actors tested positive for marijuana.
The police also searched Chan's apartment and found more than 100 grams of the drug. They accused him of "hosting others to take drugs," according to the state-run China Daily.
This could lead to a three-year jail sentence under the current Chinese law.
Chan apologized for his behavior, saying that he "set the worst example, which had the most terrible influence. And this is a huge mistake."
The Chinese media also showed the actor admitting to the possession of marijuana while they searched his home. These clips also were used to help educate the public about the dangers of using drugs.
Jackie Chan's Response
Jackie Chan has campaigned against the use of drugs for years, and represented China as an anti-drug ambassador in 2009. The elder Chan responded to his son's arrest by saying he felt ashamed and heartbroken about his son's arrest.
He posted on Sina Weibo, which is China's equivalent to Twitter: "Regarding this issue with my son Jaycee, I feel very angry and very shocked. As a public figure, I'm very ashamed.
As a father, I'm heartbroken," (translation via the Associated Press). He also said that he felt he had failed to educate his son and apologized.
China's Anti-Drug Campaign
These two actors are not the only ones targeted by a new anti-drug campaign. Beijing law enforcement has recently gone after several celebrities and other drug users.
They have detained more than 7,000 people, which is a 72 percent increase from the previous year. The celebrities detained and arrested have a high profile, including Zhnag MO, a popular actor, and Li Daimo, a singer.
Chinese authorities hope that by arresting celebrities, they can send an educational message to the public and hopefully deter some drug use.
They are also targeting foreigners, especially in a popular bar district. They have gone so far as to force patrons to undergo semi-public urine tests.
Upon analyzing the tests, they have arrested and detained all those who have tested positive, and deported many of the foreigners.
Stopping the Abuse in the Entertainment Industry
The entertainment industry has a reputation for being a hot bed of drug abuse and addiction. This is one reason the Chinese authorities are targeting celebrities.
In addition to the police clapping down on drug use, Beijing authorities have worked on another way to stop drug abuse in the entertainment industry. Numerous management agencies that represent performers in the entertainment industry signed an agreement that banned drugs from the entertainment industry.
Additionally, the agreement included a pledge that the companies would get rid of any artists who break the law.
China has taken some innovative steps to reduce the abuse of drugs in their country, especially by those in the entertainment industry. They are utilizing the media attention of celebrities to send a message to the rest of the country that drugs will not be tolerated any longer in their country.