Confucianism advocates family ties, filial duties and mutual respect, which authorities believe will have a positive moral impact on those receiving treatment.[Photo/Xinhua]
Authorities in an East China province are drawing on old wisdom to blaze a trail in treating drug addiction, borrowing the concepts of Confucius to help addicts stay clean.
Shandong province recently established the Confucius Institute at Jidong compulsory detoxification center in Jinan, capital city of Shandong, sparking heated discussions on how ancient Chinese philosophy can help treat the modern-day problem of drug addiction.
Confucianism advocates family ties, filial duties and mutual respect, which authorities believe will have a positive moral impact on those receiving treatment.
"Confucianism will help boost the addicts' confidence in detoxification and reshape their spiritual world," said Wang Daqian, secretary-general of the China Confucius Foundation (CCF), which co-founded the institute.
Authorities hope that the ancient philosophy will help change an addict's incorrect perceptions and improper behavior so that they can "completely get rid of drug addiction and get back to society."
It's quite creative!" commented one user on microblog Sina Weibo. "I think it really would make sense to use the Confucius philosophy to influence them emotionally."
It's a novel way pioneered by Shandong to battle drug addiction. The province, birthplace of Confucius, has set up eight Confucius institutes in its rehab centers so far, with the first established in Jining city in 2015.
STAY CLEAN! SAYS CONFUCIUS
"Those who are filial should respect the old and the young in their families..." More than 300 drug addicts were reciting classic texts inspired by the Confucius Analects - at the Jidong detox center when reporters visited.
In a reading room at the institute, addicts studied books around a long table. A portrait of Confucius hung on the wall, with two scrolls containing couplets advocating good temper, love, respect, frugality and humbleness.
"Besides reading, we also learn calligraphy," one of them said. "The more you learn, you get a deeper sense of calmness."