Yulu Shequ - a unique rehabilitation program for illicit drug users in Kaiyuan in southwest China

Liu, Qinqin and Gericke, Christian A. (2011) Yulu Shequ - a unique rehabilitation program for illicit drug users in Kaiyuan in southwest China. Harm Reduction Journal, 8 . doi:10.1186/1477-7517-8-26

Author Liu, Qinqin
Gericke, Christian A.
Title Yulu Shequ - a unique rehabilitation program for illicit drug users in Kaiyuan in southwest China
Journal name Harm Reduction Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1477-7517
Publication date 2011-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1477-7517-8-26
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 8
Total pages 4
Place of publication London United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Formatted abstract
In China, illicit drug use and addiction have been rapidly increasing over the last two decades. Traditional compulsory rehabilitation models in China are widely considered ineffective. Recently, a new model of drug user rehabilitation called the 'Yulu Shequ Program' has gained a national reputation for successful rehabilitation in the city of Kaiyuan in southwest China. The aim of this study was to describe this program to the international public and to assess the program's effectiveness in terms of relapse rates and costs to participants and public payers.

Case description

The Yulu Shequ program provides up to one hundred participants at any point in time with the opportunity to live and work in a purpose-built, drug-free community after completing compulsory rehabilitation. The length of stay is not limited. Community members receive medical and psychological treatment and have the option to participate in social activities and highly valued job skills training. The program has very strict policies to prevent illicit drugs entering the community.


The evaluation was carried out through 1) a review of literature, official documents and websites in Chinese language describing the program and 2) an on-site visit and conduct of semi-structured interviews with key staff members of the Yulu Shequ program. The relapse rate in 2007 was 60% compared to 96% in the compulsory program. Annual costs to public payers of CNY4800 (US$700) were largely offset by income earned through on-site labour by participants totalling CNY4600 (US$670).

The Yulu Shequ program is an interesting model for drug rehabilitation that could lead the way for a new Chinese national policy away from compulsory rehabilitation towards a more collaborative and effective approach. Caution is needed when interpreting relapse rates as Yulu Shequ participants need to have completed compulsory rehabilitation before entering the program. A more comprehensive evaluation of this program would be desirable before implementation in other parts of China or in other countries facing similar problems.
Keyword Abuse
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Public Health Publications
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