Drug abuse among Hong Kong students has gone down significantly over the past four years, a survey has revealed. The Survey of Drug Use among Students was commissioned by the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN) and the Narcotics Division (ND) of the Security Bureau. Similar studies were also conducted in 1996 and 2000. In the latest survey conducted last year, more than 95,000 secondary students in local schools, international schools and the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education were interviewed. The survey found that the proportion of students who had tried heroin had dropped from 2.6 per cent in 2000 to 1.6 per cent last year. Psychotropic substance abuse dropped from 4.1 per cent to 2.7 per cent. Among the various psychotropic substances, ketamine, cannabis and ecstasy were the most commonly used. ACAN chairman Choi Yuen-wan said it was encouraging that the number of students taking drugs had dropped significantly. He believes the reduction is related to the dying out of rave parties, which were very popular in Hong Kong in 2000. The police put a lot of effort into keeping control of the rave scene by organising raids of parties where drugs were easily accessible. But Dr Choi emphasised that a lot of work had yet to be done to stop the use of drugs. The survey found that nearly 58 per cent of the young heroin users and 76.5 per cent of the psychotropic substance abusers had never sought help for their problem. Also, some of them underestimated how easily one can get addicted to drugs, and how much damage drug abuse can do. The researchers were shocked to learn that 9.2 per cent of teenage heroin abusers and 6.6 per cent of psychotropic substance users usually got the drugs from their parents or siblings. Dr Choi said ACAN would conduct more research on parents' influence on teenage drug abusers. They plan to extend the anti-drug abuse campaign to both parents and children so the two generations can tackle the problem together, he said.