SCMP, April 16, 2001: A major conference will be staged by Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong in November to combat drug abuse. The Hong Kong Government is also studying the imposition of heavier penalties for those who use teenagers to smuggle drugs, it was disclosed yesterday. The principal assistant secretary of the Narcotics Division, Mimi Lee Mei-mei, told RTHK's City Forum that while heroin and 'ice' use had dropped last year, Ecstasy and ketamine use had soared. A total of 2,313 people were found taking Ecstasy, six times the 1999 figure. The number taking ketamine last year was 1,600, almost seven times higher than in 1999. Ms Lee said the number of teenagers taking drugs had increased by 60 per cent in 2000. She said the Government had to co-operate with other cities in fighting illicit drugs. 'The problem of manufacturing drugs here is not very serious,' she said. 'Most of the ketamine comes from Europe, while the 'ice' comes from the mainland. We should co-operate with other governments.' Ms Lee said a conference would be staged by Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong to discuss policy on illicit drugs and the rehabilitation of users. Justein Wong Chun, chairman of the Action Committee Against Narcotics, an anti-drugs organisation, suggested the Government also hold drug-free parties or activities for teenagers. Glossary combat (v) take action to reduce, destroy imposition (n) enforcement illicit (adj) forbidden or disapproved of by society rehabilitation (n) the process where people are helped to re-adapt to society after illness or imprisonment Discussion points Would a conference like the one mentioned in the article help fight the drug problem? How important is it to focus on the rehabilitation of drug users?