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Wed, Jan 19, 2000 - Page 2 News List

MOE rejects drug report

CNA AND STAFF WRITER , TAIPEI

The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday dismissed a report by the Department of Health that up to 15 percent of Taiwan's senior and junior high school students may have tried illegal drugs.

The MOE cited statistics compiled by its Department of Student Military Training showing that only 0.17 percent of students in junior or senior highs are drug addicts.

The statistics came from a narcotics screening program conducted during the 1998 academic year, which found just 47 out of some 27,500 randomly chosen juveniles were addicts.

That survey also found that the number of dropouts using drugs was about 10 times more than that of students, said MOE officials. That figure corresponds to the health department survey.

However, the MOE officials admitted that their survey labeled students drug users only if they were addicts, not if they had experimented with narcotics.

Meanwhile, Central Police University (中央警察大學) officials said they think the number of addicts could be more than 15 percent.

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