JANE'S son began drinking at 14. By 16, he was hooked on heroin. As with many young people, drinking was a springboard to harder drugs. ''Some kids dabble with alcohol and then drugs and don't go back to it. Some just get hooked, but there's hardly a family in Hongkong that isn't touched by it,'' Jane said. Eight years later, her son is clean and sober and has moved from Hongkong. Jane's experience led her to help found Parents Against Drug Abuse, which extends a helping hand to Hongkong families of all nationalities whose children's experimenting with alcohol means a nightmare for their parents. Both Parents Against Drug Abuse and the Community Drug Advisory Council are going to schools to warn pupils and teachers of the potential dangers of drinking. They are also trying to deliver this message to parents and members of the medical profession. Jane said it was impossible to tell how many young people were drinking or usingdrugs. While the Narcotics Division will release its latest survey in mid-June, which for the first time will include alcohol and tobacco, a study released by the Community Drug Advisory Council in 1990 reveals some disturbing trends. Conducted at the Hongkong International School between 1985 and 1990, the survey revealed that two per cent of pupils aged 12 drink regularly, or more than once a week. Wine was the most popular alcoholic beverage among the child drinkers - 45 per cent - followed by beer at 35 per cent and 14 per cent drinking spirits. The survey showed half of the 12-year-olds who drank more than once a week were doing so at home. By the age of 17, the number had dropped to just two per cent. According to the council's vice-chairman, Dr Jeffrey Day, by the age of 17 the teenagers were ''buying a six pack and drinking in Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Lan Kwai Fong''. Dr Day said recent research showed children drank to get drunk. ''Latest research in the US shows that young people who consume more than one drink a week risk brain damage - alcohol for developing brains is bad,'' Dr Day said. But he said warning 13 and 14-year-olds was a panic measure. ''The education has to start from birth - with the parents, the schools and the community as a whole.'' He is trying to raise funds for a comprehensive study on Hongkong's youth. Without such research, said Dr Day, Hongkong would never be able to properly address the issues of young people and drinking, drugs, sex and suicide. ''Surveys done in Hongkong look for abnormal behaviour, they do not look at the whole picture. We do not have any good child-related data in Hongkong and we don't have any data from Chinese schools. ''It's important to know how Hongkong's kids spend their pocket money, where they spend their time and to find out what they need, like sports facilities, and where,'' Dr Day said.