Drug warnings will be printed on rave party tickets to tackle the increase in Ecstasy use among young people, party organisers and government officials agreed yesterday. Party staff will also be vetted for drug abuse backgrounds, police will be told of any changes to party venues and a strict entrance code will be observed to keep out those under 18. The measures, to be implemented before the peak party season in the run-up to Christmas, were agreed to after the first meeting between most rave party organisers, police and government officials. The meeting was called in response to concern over the increase in party drug use. The number of drug users under the age of 21 rose by 38 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared with the last three months of 1999, while the number of people using Ecstasy doubled in proportion to other drugs. Dr Tam Wing-kun, chairman of the Taskforce on Psychotropic Substance Abuse, said party organisers were happy to follow the code because raves were a money-making business. 'They don't want it to be destroyed by drugs.' Emily Butt, marketing manager of HMV, said its branches sold more than 90 per cent of rave party tickets. She said selling tickets was not an essential part of the business, but it was a marketing tool to generate visits to the stores. Yesterday, 26 rave organisers met 60 police officers and representatives of the Narcotics Division, Hong Kong Medical Association, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong International Trade and Exhibition Centre. Clarie Lo Ku Ka-lee, Commissioner for Narcotics, said: 'We hope to develop a partnership with rave party organisers, promoters and venue providers and join forces with them in protecting the young people of Hong Kong from the menace of drugs.' Dr Tam said the code of practice was the first step towards preventing drug abuse. It would be followed by a study of the rave party licensing scheme by the Taskforce on Psychotropic Substance Abuse. Last June, police seized a record haul of more than 320,000 Ecstasy tablets. Last month, ketamine, a party drug gaining popularity in Hong Kong, was put under the control of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.