Fewer teens taking drugs, study finds

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 June, 2011, 12:00am


Government figures show a decline of youth drug abuse in Hong Kong ahead of this Sunday's international anti-drug abuse day.

The Action Committee Against Narcotics announced last week that the number of reported young drug abusers dropped by 39.9 per cent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year. The number went down from 1,110 to 667.

The number of newly reported young drug abusers decreased by 51.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

The committee also said that 1,977 students took part in the Trial Scheme on School Drug Testing in Tai Po in the last school year. No confirmed cases were found, although three students refused to take the test. Their parents were notified.

Commissioner for Narcotics Sally Wong Pik-yee attributed the decrease partly to the school drug-testing programme.

In a radio show on Monday, she said the government and the public must keep a close eye on drug abuse to prevent the number from rebounding. She said that over the past decade the trend was like the tide, going up and down periodically. It dropped between 2003 and 2004, but became 'very serious' between 2005 and 2009, she said. 'We cannot neglect it, it is a long battle,' Wong said.

The figures came before this Sunday's International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

With the help of some social workers in Tin Shui Wai, several teenagers who used to be drug users will organise a parade from Long Ping Estate in Yuen Long to Tin Shui Wai. The teenagers hope to raise awareness of drug abuse. They expect 300 people to take part.