2017-03-17 10:26:19

To celebrate his son’s 18th birthday, one father chose a special gift: illegal drugs. But local police put a damper on the celebrations when they arrested the pair a day later.

Officers on patrol in Anxiang County in Hunan province, central China, arrested the father and son, both surnamed Zhou, on Wednesday, reported Rednet, a news portal run by the provincial Party branch and government.

According to the report, the older Zhou, 43, got divorced several years ago because of his drug habit. Fearing for her son’s well-being, his ex-wife moved both him and herself to Yueyang, a city in Hunan some 120 kilometers away. But when the boy turned 18, he went back to his hometown to visit his grandparents, which also meant a reunion with his drug-abusing father.

Rednet’s report vividly retells the details of what transpired Tuesday night when the son visited his father. The younger Zhou reportedly asked for a gift and “looked at his father with an expression that exuded longing.” His father was apparently caught by surprise and replied: “Son, if you hadn’t reminded me, I would have forgotten. It’s all because your mother is heartless and abandoned me.”

According to the article, the father then presented a small package. “What’s this?” asked the son. “This is good stuff!” said the father, inhaling a hit from the methamphetamine. Once high, the elder Zhou “with no sense of shame started to yak about life dreams in front of his son.” “You are an adult now — you should be obedient, and you should have goals to strive for!” he said, passing the drugs to his son. “I don’t have any gift for you except this. Have a try.”

The son reportedly couldn’t resist the temptation, even though “he clearly recalled that last October he had tried [drugs] given to him by his father and was punished by the police,” the report said.

Later, another man surnamed Li joined them, and all three were arrested. All three also confessed, and urinalysis confirmed that they had taken the drugs. Li was put in compulsory isolation so he could kick his drug habit. Both Zhous were detained and received treatment at a community rehabilitation center.

Despite drugs being illegal in China, the number of newly discovered drug users is rising, with a year-on-year increase of 14.6 percent in 2015. According to official figures, China recorded 2.34 million drug users in 2015, while the real number is estimated to be at least 10 million countrywide. According to the authorities, more and more minors are getting hooked: In 2015, some 43,000 drug users were under 18.

Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

(Header image: Chen Weibin/VCG)