I started smoking aged six and was on cocaine at seven

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 August, 2005, 12:00am

While most children find toys, TV games or ice cream irresistible, Ah Shing, now 15, used to prefer a different indulgence - puffing cocaine, which he has been doing since he was seven.

'I was in Primary Two at the time,' Ah Shing recalls. 'One day, I was brought by my school mates to one of the public housing estates in Kam Tin to meet some young men who then passed the cocaine to me to try ... I had been smoking since I was six. So puffing cocaine was not very exciting to me.

'I did not really like the cocaine at first. But after taking it a few times, I started to enjoy the feeling ... Then I took a bit once every week.'

Ah Shing spent all his pocket money, several hundred dollars a month, buying cocaine from drug dealers in Yuen Long.

Two years ago, he also started using ketamine, sometimes in combination with cocaine. 'Mixing the two drugs was exciting, they make you feel high,' he says.

Ah Shing used to live with his farmer parents and three older sisters in Kam Tin.

His family did not notice his addiction until one of his sisters found his stash at home.

'My parents used to be very gentle with me. But after they discovered my problems, I always fought with them as they tried to stop me from taking drugs,' he says.

'I even quit school and followed my friends to steal to get money for drugs.'

Ah Shing started court-ordered drug rehabilitation treatment at the Christian Zheng Sheng Association nine months ago after he was convicted of stealing mobile phones at the end of last year.