Taiwan and lack of a drug problem

why does it seem like taiwan and asia in general -namely japan, south korea, maybe china - dont have problems with drugs that the west does? from what i know and the taiwanese that i personally know taiwan does not seem to have any significant drug problems.

i live in the u.s. and it just seems like drugs is such a huge and never ending problem on our society. whether it be marijuana (which I dont think is such a big deal) to bigger problems with cocaine, meth, prescription drugs, etc. this problem just cant seem to go away. it also transcends borders and involves other countries as a big part of the supply comes from mexico/latin america. it fuels problems in those countries with gang warfare and criminal activity. we all know the huge problems mexico has with drug lords and crime. governments here in the u.s. and in those countries just cant seem to be able to counter the problems. i guess as long as there is demand there will always be suppliers. even tho we have tough punishments on drug use and and spend huge resources and money for programs and treatments to help addicts, we just cant seem resolve the problem.

are asians just better at controlling drug (and alcohol) addictions? does confucius dictate to say no to drugs? are asian parents just better at raising their kids and grill into their heads to focus on books and school and making money? inquiring minds want to know!

Taiwan has very serious drug problems. Have you ever tried to score a nice bag of sinsemilla here? It’s practically non-existent. And don’t even think about doing amphetamines or hallucinogens unless you’re not afraid to spend your life behind bars. Some may not be troubled by such matters, but for those who believe in liberty to live life as one wishes, so long as one doesn’t interfere with others, there are major drug problems in Taiwan.

Moreover, I believe you’re mistaken in believing Asians ingest fewer mind-altering substances than Americans. Tobacco is by far the world’s most deadly drug. Here’s how many ciggies per person are consumed per year:

Japan 2,028
S. Korea 1,733
China 1,648
USA 1,196
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co … per_capita

South Korea also tops the US in alcohol consumption
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co … onsumption

Then there’s betel nut, which is extremely common here and leads to all types of oral cancers, as well as just being disgusting socially. In the US it’s not a problem at all, but in Asia. . .
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c … onsum1.PNG

Then there’s other stuff. According to a 2009 UN report, meth use is widespread and rapidly growing throughout East and SE Asia and the same for Heroin use in China, Malaysia, Burma, Singapore and Vietnam.
yobserver.com/sports-health- … 17770.html

And don’t forget where most of the world’s opium comes from.

So, do many Asian countries have harsher laws regarding particular drugs that their cultures find offensive, while turning a blind eye to more deadly drugs that their citizens freely abuse? Sure. Do they have absurdly anal and unduly harsh laws punishing the use of mild mind-altering substances that are commonly indulged in in the US? Yes. But is it fair to say the US has serious drug problems and Asia doesn’t? No, I believe that’s inaccurate.

are you being facetious there? taiwan has a drug problem because you CANNOT find amphetamines, hallucinogens and sinsemilla (dont even know what that is), etc? then that supports my statement - that taiwan doesnt have much of a drug problem since the citizens there cant even find drugs to use!

and no, i dont consider tobacco and betel nut a drug. more like a nuisance and bad habit like alcohol especially if used excessively. i’m talking hardcore drugs like cocaine, meth, heroine, etc. i dont know about southeast asia, i guess i am speaking about the more advanced countries in asia like northeast asia, e.g., taiwan, japan, south korea and china. everyone knows singapore doesnt have much of a drug problem as you get caned there for even chewing gum.

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you might know it as ‘the chronic’.

Not being facetious. Tobacco is most certainly a drug. Ask any addict who has tried to quit smoking. And it’s far more deadly than all those others combined. Alcohol and. betel nut are also deadly, addictive drugs.

Don’t be fooled, by having lived in a world that arbitrarily approves of certain drugs and rejects others, into thinking the socially sanctioned drugs are somehow different. Those legal drugs cause 1,000 times more deaths and monetary damages than the illegal ones.

Feel free to re-phrase your question, if you wish, and ask why Asians convey the impression of using fewer illegal drugs, because I think that’s what you’re really trying to ask.

ok, then i guess i meant to say “illegal drugs” and also prescription drugs. because now we’re getting into a side issue of what defines a “drug”.

Various reasons, including:

  1. Fear & Punishment. In most of the US, Canada, Europe, it’s my understanding if you get caught with a small amount of marijuana you may get a ticket, or a warning, but in much of Asia you may go to jail (possibly for weeks or months?)

  2. Living with Mommy. In Taiwan, and perhaps elsewhere in Asia, kids live with mom and dad till they’re 30 or 40 years old (unlike the West, where they leave home at a young age).

  3. Respect Elders. Taiwan, and perhaps much of Asia, is a confucian society, where one is supposed to respect and obey ones elders, and many do to a greater extent than the West, where ever since the '60s kids have discovered their freedom to do as they please and explore life as they see fit, without strictly conforming to the wishes of their parents and notions of what “society” deems proper.

  4. Ignorance & Inexperience. Due to the harsh drug laws in Asia and the blind, unquestioning obedience to elders and authority, in Taiwan (and perhaps much of Asia) a large portion of society believes the societal mantras that “illegal drugs are evil and dangerous” (but legal drugs are ok). Even kids here are largely ignorant about how harmless a little experimentation with illegal drugs can be. Heck, everyone in my family has smoked pot including my parents. We all know it’s just a plant, certainly no worse than tobacco, and is perfectly harmless when used rarely or in moderation, but many here – due to complete unfamiliarity and inexposure to the stuff – believe the fallacious myths about it being evil and pernicious and the gateway to heroin. Ignorance leads to false and irrational fears.

  5. School. Perhaps the obsession with school and grades and testing here, the shame and humiliation if we fails in those respects, and the inability to cruise through college as an “undeclared” major or repeatedly changing majors as many do in the US, causes a deep fear and aversion to trying anything that could possibly interfere with the same.

BUT, I don’t think it’s fair to conclude that Asians are therefore wiser about such things. Not at all. Many would say that freedom, independence, and the ability to experiment free from unduly harsh and irrational laws is a good thing.

In the US, over 800,000 people were arrested for marijuana in 2010.
blog.norml.org/2011/09/19/mariju … ata-shows/

The US spends over $1 billion per year imprisoning people for marijuana.
alternet.org/story/47815/pot … ion_a_year

Does that make sense? Wouldn’t it make more sense to criminalize tobacco?

Wrong.
Drugs are here, as a foreigner you just don’t see it. Everyone here has some relative mixed up in drugs.
Go to a Bin Lang stand. They sell smack as well.
Been to a Bar lately? Go to a Jo Dian. It can be bought easily.
Heard about Justin Lee?
Go to the mountains. Tons of pot growing there.
What about all those drug busts?
Talk to a high school teacher.
Only about 20% of high school students here are ‘competitive’ when it comes to grades.
What about all those meth, ecstasy, special K labs set up all over the island?
OPEN YOUR EYES and you will see it.
Taiwan has less than a tenth of the population of the US. If you use that as a base, it’s obvious.

ok thanks for taking the time to contribute your input. judging from your comments, i get a sense that you think taiwanese/asians’ views on illegal drugs are too draconian? i understand and agree to a certain extent your viewpoints about the needs for asians/asian youth to be independent and open to experimentation. afterall, steve jobs was very public with his experience using lsd and actually advocated people to try it. he was a free-spirit hippie type back in the day. perhaps if he had never gone thru that phase in his life he would never have been creative enough to found apple.

HOWEVER, there is the dark underside to illegal drug use and that is that many people’s drug use come to the point where it affects their lives in very negative ways because they cannot control their addiction. and also the harm it causes to society in terms of crimes perpetuated by both individuals needing to fulfill their addictions and drug lords/gangs supplying them. look how the drug industry is destroying mexico. the govt. just seems helpless fighting the drug lords there and the country is in havoc. its affected the economy like the tourist industry as people dont want to vacation there anymore since it’s gotten too dangerous.

i was just wondering why asia just doesnt seem to be affected by drugs in the same way.

[quote=“baberenglish”]Wrong.
Drugs are here, as a foreigner you just don’t see it. Everyone here has some relative mixed up in drugs.
Go to a Bin Lang stand. They sell smack as well.
Been to a Bar lately? Go to a Jo Dian. It can be bought easily.
Heard about Justin Lee?
Go to the mountains. Tons of pot growing there.
What about all those drug busts?
Talk to a high school teacher.
Only about 20% of high school students here are ‘competitive’ when it comes to grades.
What about all those meth, ecstasy, special K labs set up all over the island?
OPEN YOUR EYES and you will see it.
Taiwan has less than a tenth of the population of the US. If you use that as a base, it’s obvious.[/quote]

im sure there are some taiwanese who use drugs just like every country has drug users. but is it a problem to the extent like it is here in the u.s.?? i just dont see it from what i’ve read about taiwan and the taiwanese that i know.

even among asian-americans, drug use is very low despite the fact that their incomes are high so they have the economic means to purchase drugs just like caucasian middle-class teens/people who have a big problem with drug use. i think it’s definitely cultural, i dont know.

thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/0 … ns-lowest/

[quote=“forealz”][quote=“baberenglish”]Wrong.
Drugs are here, as a foreigner you just don’t see it. Everyone here has some relative mixed up in drugs.
Go to a Bin Lang stand. They sell smack as well.
Been to a Bar lately? Go to a Jo Dian. It can be bought easily.
Heard about Justin Lee?
Go to the mountains. Tons of pot growing there.
What about all those drug busts?
Talk to a high school teacher.
Only about 20% of high school students here are ‘competitive’ when it comes to grades.
What about all those meth, ecstasy, special K labs set up all over the island?
OPEN YOUR EYES and you will see it.
Taiwan has less than a tenth of the population of the US. If you use that as a base, it’s obvious.[/quote]

im sure there are some taiwanese who use drugs just like every country has drug users. but is it a problem to the extent like it is here in the u.s.?? i just dont see it from what I’ve read about taiwan and the taiwanese that I know.[/quote]

I read an article in one of the news magazines and they had all the stats – drug use in Taiwan is skyrocketing. The police are trying to change their tactics to account for it, but like we know from western countries, it’s not that easy. The big difference between Taiwan and the US is that drug users are thrown in jail in Taiwan while they sit out on the streets in the US. Drugs in high schools is also a huge problem – the mob gets students addicted and then force them to sell in schools. It’s on the news all the time. It’s hard for foreigners abroad to recognize problems but that doesn’t mean there not there – not unlike Asian students in the US getting mugged in the wrong part of town because they didn’t have the cultural capacity to know better…

[quote=“forealz”]even among asian-americans, drug use is very low despite the fact that their incomes are high so they have the economic means to purchase drugs just like caucasian middle-class teens/people who have a big problem with drug use. I think it’s definitely cultural, I don’t know.

thechart.blogs.CNN.com/2011/11/0 … ns-lowest/[/quote]

Asian Americans aren’t culturally American?? Tell that to some of my friends :unamused: You need to stop thinking from a outsiders perspective…Can you read Chinese? If so, start looking for articles online. You’ll be surprised.

[quote=“archylgp”][quote=“forealz”]even among asian-americans, drug use is very low despite the fact that their incomes are high so they have the economic means to purchase drugs just like caucasian middle-class teens/people who have a big problem with drug use. I think it’s definitely cultural, I don’t know.

thechart.blogs.CNN.com/2011/11/0 … ns-lowest/[/quote]

Asian Americans aren’t culturally American?? Tell that to some of my friends :unamused: You need to stop thinking from a outsiders perspective…Can you read Chinese? If so, start looking for articles online. You’ll be surprised.[/quote]

asian americans are american but i do think they retain more of their ethnic culture compared to other americans like europeans since most asians are recent arrivals in the 20th century (outside of the first chinese who arrived in the 1800s) compared to europeans/africans who started arriving centuries ago. i read a statistic that about half of the u.s. asian population are first generation immigrants so you would expect them to retain much of their culture and pass it down to their american-born children.

[quote=“forealz”][quote=“archylgp”][quote=“forealz”]even among asian-americans, drug use is very low despite the fact that their incomes are high so they have the economic means to purchase drugs just like caucasian middle-class teens/people who have a big problem with drug use. I think it’s definitely cultural, I don’t know.

thechart.blogs.CNN.com/2011/11/0 … ns-lowest/[/quote]

Asian Americans aren’t culturally American?? Tell that to some of my friends :unamused: You need to stop thinking from a outsiders perspective…Can you read Chinese? If so, start looking for articles online. You’ll be surprised.[/quote]

Asian Americans are American but I do think they retain more of their ethnic culture compared to other Americans like europeans since most asians are recent arrivals in the 20th century (outside of the first chinese who arrived in the 1800s) compared to europeans/africans who started arriving centuries ago. I read a statistic that about half of the u.s. Asian population are first generation immigrants so you would expect them to retain much of their culture.[/quote]

I think Asian Americans generally tend towards the part of the American population that values true education. Drug use in this population is very low. I don’t think this is because of Asian cultural attitudes but because Asians that can move to the US long term are already pretty well off and talented. (The US doesn’t welcome poor Taiwanese people, for example.) (It’s important not to make assumptions about complex samples based on a single causative factor.)

[quote=“archylgp”]
I think Asian Americans generally tend towards the part of the American population that values true education. Drug use in this population is very low. I don’t think this is because of Asian cultural attitudes but because Asians that can move to the US long term are already pretty well off and talented. (The US doesn’t welcome poor Taiwanese people, for example.) (It’s important not to make assumptions about complex samples based on a single causative factor.)[/quote]

no, i definitely dont agree with that statement. like many chinese immigrants from china arrive poor. you see them working in the restaurant and textile industries. you read/hear stories about many of them being indebted to snakeheads in china/asia to have them smuggled to the u.s. and slaving away to pay the debts off. sure, there might be some recent wealthy immigrants from china’s newly rich. but most chinese are working class people. yet they tend to do a great job raising their kids and steering them away from trouble.

much of the taiwanese american population arrived in the 70s/80s after chiang kai shek died and yes many were affluent. i lived in los angeles and affluent neighborhoods like san marino and arcadia have huge numbers of taiwanese. but that doesnt apply to most asians across the board.

[quote=“forealz”][quote=“archylgp”]
I think Asian Americans generally tend towards the part of the American population that values true education. Drug use in this population is very low. I don’t think this is because of Asian cultural attitudes but because Asians that can move to the US long term are already pretty well off and talented. (The US doesn’t welcome poor Taiwanese people, for example.) (It’s important not to make assumptions about complex samples based on a single causative factor.)[/quote]

no, i definitely dont agree with that statement. like many chinese immigrants from china arrive poor. you see them working in the restaurant and textile industries. you read/hear stories about many of them being indebted to snakeheads in china/asia to have them smuggled to the u.s. and slaving away to pay the debts off. sure, there might be some recent immigrants from china’s newly rich. but many chinese are working class people. yet they tend to do a great job raising their kids and steering them away from trouble.

much of the taiwanese American population arrived in the 70s/80s after chiang kai shek died and yes many were affluent. i lived in los angeles and affluent neighborhoods like san marino and arcadia have huge numbers of taiwanese. but that doesnt apply to most asians across the board.[/quote]

The Chinese who came over on boats aren’t legal citizens – they don’t show up in the stats…another thing to think about when talking about samples.

[quote=“archylgp”][quote=“forealz”][quote=“archylgp”]
I think Asian Americans generally tend towards the part of the American population that values true education. Drug use in this population is very low. I don’t think this is because of Asian cultural attitudes but because Asians that can move to the US long term are already pretty well off and talented. (The US doesn’t welcome poor Taiwanese people, for example.) (It’s important not to make assumptions about complex samples based on a single causative factor.)[/quote]

no, i definitely dont agree with that statement. like many chinese immigrants from china arrive poor. you see them working in the restaurant and textile industries. you read/hear stories about many of them being indebted to snakeheads in china/asia to have them smuggled to the u.s. and slaving away to pay the debts off. sure, there might be some recent immigrants from china’s newly rich. but many chinese are working class people. yet they tend to do a great job raising their kids and steering them away from trouble.

much of the taiwanese American population arrived in the 70s/80s after chiang kai shek died and yes many were affluent. i lived in los angeles and affluent neighborhoods like san marino and arcadia have huge numbers of taiwanese. but that doesnt apply to most asians across the board.[/quote]

The Chinese who came over on boats aren’t legal citizens – they don’t show up in the stats…another thing to think about when talking about samples.[/quote]

i’m not saying ALL chinese immigrants are illegal. some are. but most of the legal immigrants arrive poor or lower middle class and are not rich according to your previous assumption that asians who moved to the u.s were rich to begin with. the u.s. does not even have a policy that restricts immigration based on income and wealth.

[quote=“forealz”][quote=“archylgp”][quote=“forealz”][quote=“archylgp”]
I think Asian Americans generally tend towards the part of the American population that values true education. Drug use in this population is very low. I don’t think this is because of Asian cultural attitudes but because Asians that can move to the US long term are already pretty well off and talented. (The US doesn’t welcome poor Taiwanese people, for example.) (It’s important not to make assumptions about complex samples based on a single causative factor.)[/quote]

no, i definitely dont agree with that statement. like many chinese immigrants from china arrive poor. you see them working in the restaurant and textile industries. you read/hear stories about many of them being indebted to snakeheads in china/asia to have them smuggled to the u.s. and slaving away to pay the debts off. sure, there might be some recent immigrants from china’s newly rich. but many chinese are working class people. yet they tend to do a great job raising their kids and steering them away from trouble.

much of the taiwanese American population arrived in the 70s/80s after chiang kai shek died and yes many were affluent. i lived in los angeles and affluent neighborhoods like san marino and arcadia have huge numbers of taiwanese. but that doesnt apply to most asians across the board.[/quote]

The Chinese who came over on boats aren’t legal citizens – they don’t show up in the stats…another thing to think about when talking about samples.[/quote]

I’m not saying ALL chinese immigrants are illegal. some are. but most of the legal immigrants arrive poor or lower middle class and are not rich according to your previous assumption that asians who moved to the u.s were rich to begin with. the u.s. does not even have a policy that restricts immigration based on income and wealth.[/quote]

Really? Good luck getting a green card if you’re a poor Chinese person in the States…

But anyways, to say that there isn’t a massive drug problem in China is absurd – much worse than the US – and Taiwan – although statistically is doing better than the US – still has a problem and it’s growing…If binglang and what not are drugs, which they should be considered as, then Taiwan is on par with the rest of the world – good number of the global population is addicted to some substance, be it legal or not.

[quote=“archylgp”]

But anyways, to say that there isn’t a massive drug problem is absurd – much worse than the US – and Taiwan – although statistically is doing better than the US – still has a problem and it’s growing…If binglang and what not are drugs, which they should be considered as, then Taiwan is on par with the rest of the world – good number of the global population is addicted to some substance, be it legal or not.[/quote]

so you’re saying taiwan has a massive illegal drug problem? AGAIN i am not talking betel nuts so stop mentioning that. you might as well consider cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine as a drug then - which i dont. i am talking HARDCORE ILLEGAL DRUGS.