Fewer reported drug abusers

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 June, 2010, 12:00am

The latest government figures show a significant drop in the number of drug abusers, but a social worker says there are still many hidden ones.

The number of reported drug abusers in the first three months was down 10.3 per cent year on year, according to advisory body the Action Committee Against Narcotics.

The number of drug abusers aged under 21 fell by 10.3 per cent. Newly reported cases fell 9.1 per cent.

Commissioner for Narcotics Sally Wong said the drop was thanks to a joint effort by the government and the community.

Paul Lo Po-sing, leader of a North District youth-outreach team, agreed but said only reported cases had been counted. Abusers who were not reported by friends, social workers or police were not counted.

'We can see the situation is being alleviated. But many abusers now choose to take drugs at home or a friend's home ... some long-term drug abusers are difficult to reach as they do not go out too often,' he said. Social workers needed to organise different activities to encourage hidden abusers to go out.

The figures showed that 69 per cent of abusers liked to take drugs at home or a friend's home.

The findings showed that heroin, though fewer abused it, remained the most popular drug. While the number of abusers of most types of drugs showed a drop, the number of abusers of cocaine and Ice was rising.