One in three homes in a poor village of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in west China had seen at least one family member die from a drug overdose, the Workers' Daily found. It said villagers in Xigou, Tongxin county, bought and sold drugs because they felt they had no choice. Tongxin translates as 'with one heart'. But villagers in the county have chosen more appropriate characters with the same sound - meaning 'pained heart' - to describe the remote and impoverished place they call home. With most of the men dead or in prison, the women and children of Xigou have nicknamed their home town 'widows' village', the report said. Of the 1,597 mostly Muslim residents in the village's 370 households, more than 40 have been jailed for terms under 15 years for selling drugs, 70 are serving sentences ranging from 15 years to life imprisonment, and nine have been executed, according to the Workers' Daily . 'We've certainly had an abundance of drug smuggling and usage cases, but the actual number of arrests is a secret,' said Ma, an officer with the Tongxin county police. The dearth of employment opportunities in the region and its remoteness were among the most significant causes of the drug problem, the Workers' Daily reported. Despite the danger of death and the threat of joining their fathers, brothers and sons in prison, many women - who often refer to themselves as widows of the living or widows of the dead - said the lack of employment options had forced them to sell drugs. Many said that aside from an accidental death, they believed that state execution for their crimes was the most likely way they would die, according to the report. Asked why Xigou village's drug problem was so severe, Mr Ma said: 'All I know is that it's a social problem that is deeply rooted in the past.' The police officer refused to further explain the social problems.