30-year-old Zhang Rui from Bengbu in Anhui province was once a professional driver. However, six months ago, his life collapsed into alcoholism. With no other choice and after what must have been a serious intervention, he has agreed to be kept chained inside the attic until he no longer feels the need to drink.
The rather extreme version of cold turkey is being played out in the 10 sq meter attic of the family home. Poor Zhang is chained by his neck to a four meter long chain that is secured by a padlock. He can move around on the old mattress on the floor, but that’s about it.
In the attic, Zhang rarely sleeps, only eats one mantou per meal and generally doesn’t have so great of a time, though at least he has a laptop and some cheery wallpaper to keep him company. He often becomes irritable and tries desperately to pick the lock or to somehow slide the chain from his neck. So far, he’s only succeeded in giving himself some scratches.
Zhang’s mother said that she doesn’t know how long her son will have to stay chained in the attic, but she says that is the only way to get her old son back.
You don’t often see stories of families trying to cure their relatives of alcoholism in China, we just hope that this doesn’t start catching on as a way to “treat” homosexuality or Internet addiction.
[Images via NetEase]