have a Chinaman at (one's) neck

(redirected from Chinaman at their necks)

have a Chinaman at (one's) neck

To suffer from an addiction to narcotics or the withdrawal symptoms caused by it. A derogatory phrase, it likely refers to opium's classical association with Southeast Asia. Having that Chinaman at her neck has kept Janet out of work for years. I want to get clean and turn my life around, but having this Chinaman at my neck is absolute torture.
See also: Chinaman, have, neck