Journal of Youth Studies

July 2005

Volume 8 . Issue No. 2

Serial No. 16


Feature : Has Drug Use Become Casual ?

The Latest Situation on Drug Abuse and Measures to Tackle Drug Abuse Among Young People - Narcotics Division, Security Bureau
Narcotics Division, Security Bureau

[Abstract] Introduced into Hong Kong from the West in the late 1990s, the rave party culture and psychotropic substances that accompanied it changed the local drug abuse scene, which has now become more complicated and diverse. The drug-taking pattern and profile of young drug abusers is now much different from the scenario 10 years ago. This article depicts the latest drug abuse situation among our young people aged 30 or below and measures adopted along the “5-pronged” approach to tackle drug abuse problems among young people.
Strategies for Youth Drug Abuse Prevention - Philemon CHOI Yuen-wan
Philemon CHOI Yuen-wan
Chairman, Action Committee Against Narcotics
Chairman, Commission on Youth

[Abstract] This article synthesizes a few strategies for drug abuse prevention. First of all, the awareness of psychotropic drug abuse among parents, teachers, social workers, law enforcement officials, judicial officials, and media workers should be increased. Second, the building of a healthy growing environment for young people should be maintained as the basis of prevention. Prevention education for the high-risk group should also be continued. Third, an institution could be set up in which young drug abusers are themselves required to assume responsibility for success or failure during the process of treatment and rehabilitation. Fourth, law enforcement officials, judicial officials, and media workers can help in prevention work. In addition, the government and the people concerned with the problem should contribute more both in terms of human resources and finance. Last, an assessment of various prevention projects should be carried out.
Addressing Drug Abuse Amongst Youth: An International Perspective* - Gautam BABBAR
Expert Adviser, Drug Demand Reduction, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – UNODC

[Abstract] Since its inception, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has been working for and with youth to address the issue of drug abuse globally. This paper presents some lessons learned on how to mount effective drug abuse prevention campaigns, what theoretical model to follow, and how to put theory into practice. Based largely on the experiences of youth, youth workers, and youth NGOs, as well as academic experts who participated in the activities of two global projects (namely, The Global Youth Network project and the UNODC-WHO global Initiative on Primary Prevention), the following also illustrates principles of good practice with real examples from across the world, thus giving a flavour of how universal principles may be adapted to local conditions and specificities.
* The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.
Tackling Drugs Together - Keeping Young People Away From Drugs - IP Lau-chuen
IP Lau-chuen
Chief Superintendent of Police, Narcotics Bureau, Hong Kong Police Force

[Abstract] What is fast becoming a runaway problem of young people abusing drugs creates a heavy burden for society. To stem the flow of illegal drugs into the territory, the Hong Kong Police will continue stringent and sustained enforcement action to effectively combat the nefarious activities of drug trade and abuse. In addition, the Hong Kong Police will also make every effort to achieve effective drug demand reduction by providing full support to local communities on any initiatives to prevent drug abuse. The Hong Kong Police will do its utmost to make Hong Kong a better environment - keeping our young people away from drugs.
Adolescent Drug Abuse - A Pharmaceutical Perspective - LEE Kwing Chin Kenneth
LEE Kwing Chin Kenneth
Professor, School of Pharmacy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] The present article attempts to analyze the drug abuse issue from a pharmaceutical point of view. It has three major focuses: (a) the pharmacology of multiple drug abuse, (b) the rotation of abused substances, and (c) the economic impact of drug abuse. Unless the co-administration of different drugs has been scientifically evaluated, the act of mixing different agents will produce uncertain outcomes and thus pose high risks to drug abusers. The periodic change from one substance of abuse to another is a universal phenomenon. Nonetheless, the method of administration is usually changed to one that enhances the original effect, thus posing an even bigger danger to the health of the individual. The economic impact of drug abuse on government and all of society is enormous. Policy makers should focus not only on the health effects of drug abuse but on the overall detrimental effects on society as well.
The Harm Reduction Model and the Problem of Youth Drug Abuse - CHEUNG Yuet Wah
Professor, Department of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper explores the possible role of the Harm Reduction (HR) Model in tackling the drug abuse problem among young people in Hong Kong. It will firstly describe the background to the emergence of the HR model, and then describe the main features of the model. The HR characteristic of "focus on harm, abstinence irrelevant" enables it to help high-risk youth to reduce drug-related harm caused by the increasing normalization of recreational drug use in society. HR initiatives are considered to be complementary to projects of prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. Controversies over the HR approach in society will also be addressed.
The Way Out for the Youth Drug Abuse Problem: The Application of Motivational Enhancement Therapy - Ben CHEUNG
Senior Medical and Health Officer, Substance Abuse Assessment Unit, Kwai Chung Hospital

[Abstract] Over the past several years, there has been a rising trend of psychoactive substance abuse in Hong Kong. The phenomenon is especially prominent among teenagers. The problem is that they usually do not see themselves as "addicts" and do not accept conventional treatment services, which are associated with different kinds of stigma and barriers. It is therefore important to find ways to motivate them to undergo treatment before irreversible neuro-psychiatric complications develop. This article discusses the theoretical background and applications of motivational enhancement therapy in developing early intervention services for psychoactive substance abuse.
Feminist Perspectives on the Story of Female Adolescents in the Hong Kong Party Drug Scene - HO Wing-yin, Cecilia
HO Wing-yin, Cecilia
MPhil Student, Department of Sociology, The University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper analyses the practice and perceptions of party drug use by female adolescents, which includes both positive and negative experiences. The findings show alternative stories to what is usually depicted in the dominant discourse: that is, female adolescents can occupy social spaces (raves/disco-setting) with confidence, and their participation in the dance drug scene is more or less equal to that of their male counterparts. They are in control of the desired "loss of control" while taking party drugs. However, they are still subjected to socio-cultural constructions related to gender roles and the perceived side-effects resulting from party drug use. The paper concludes by suggesting alternative ways to engage female party drug users with the harm reduction approach and narrative therapeutic groups (single sex story-telling groups), which can open up more space for them to articulate the meaning behind their drug usage, instead of only considering their drug abstinence.
The Experience of "Project Snowball" - Amy CHO
Unit-In-Charge, "Project Snowball" The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] Drug abuse among teenagers has been a serious, long-standing problem that has long aroused social concern. The rave party and dance culture that spread to Hong Kong beginning in 2001 has attracted many teenagers to revel in discos or rave parties, and they now are deeply obsessed. They often take drugs when having fun at parties. Recently, rave parties have gradually disappeared under pressure from police investigation and mop-ups, while at the same time the disco industry has lost some of its popularity. Drug abuse among youngsters is no longer restricted just to discos but can now be found everywhere at any time and in many modes. To show our concern, in January 2004 the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups began a pilot project named "Project Snowball" Knowing the specific subculture of how teenagers use drugs, we employ those people who were once drug-users but have since successfully given them up as our "Peer Instructors" They join hands with our social workers to fight against drug abuse. This article pinpoints the content of the services and the effectiveness of the project. We hope it can provide some inspiration for those who are concerned about this issue as well as enhance the future development of tackling drug abuse.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange : Information and Communication Technology in Practice

Promoting Youth Development by Building a Healthy Internet Environment in Mainland China - HAO Xiang-hong
HAO Xiang-hong
General Secretary, China Youth Association for Network Development

[Abstract] The composite environment of the Internet, communication and computers plays an important role in youth development. This article analyses the relationship between this environment and youth development by focusing on environmental content, the media, location, human capital, the institution, and the industry. It also suggests that the government, NGOs, and other enterprises bring together their efforts to help construct a healthy environment.
An Exploratory Study on Taiwanese Youth and Information and Communication Technology - Chia-Huang WANG
Chia-Huang WANG
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Yuan-Ze University

[Abstract] The author conducts an exploratory study on how Taiwanese youth use information and communication technology (ICT) devices and how they interpret the role of ICT in their daily lives. Using documentary analysis, the author presents a data map and indicates the general research orientation of Taiwanese scholars who have been studying the topic. The author also conducts a simple interview to explore how Taiwanese youth have been using mobile phones, bulletin boards, and instant messaging. Finally, the author emphasizes the importance of building a comprehensive research agenda.
Mobile Phone Culture Among Youth in Singapore - LEOW Meizhi Doobo SHIM
LEOW Meizhi
Management Executive, Media Development Authority, Singapore
Doobo SHIM
Assistant Professor, Communications and New Media Programme, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore

[Abstract] The mobile phone is one of the most important technological devices underlying the current communications revolution. It has gone from being a luxury used exclusively by elite, well-paid male businessmen to a mass-produced consumer good. In this paper, we consider the mobile phone as a cultural artefact, which is inscribed with a distinctive set of meanings and practices specific to certain cultures and associated with users’ identities. Largely drawing on Baudrillard’s concept of consumer society, Bourdieu’s concepts including habitus, cultural capital and taste, and the theory of signification of other cultural studies scholars, this paper examines whether the mobile phone functions as an agent of identity signification among Singaporean users. By means of a survey, this research also seeks to establish whether different social indicators (e.g., age, ethnicity, gender, class, etc.) affect the usage of mobile phones by Singaporean youth. In so doing, this study hopes to contribute to the understanding of current youth culture in Singapore while discussing relevant service and policy implications for its better development.
Information and Communication Technology for Youths in Macao: Literacy, Policies, Provisions and ICT Curriculum - Kan-kan, Regina CHAN Kwok-cheung CHEUNG
Kan-kan, Regina CHAN
Kwok-cheung CHEUNG
Faculty of Education, University of Macau

[Abstract] To increase competitiveness in the global world after the 1999 transition, the Macao government has emphasized the need to boost information and communication technology (ICT) in education and society to raise ICT literacy and the overall quality of Macao’s youth. Several surveys on Internet use in Macao inform us of existing ICT developments in Macao. From the perspective of hardware and software, the ensuing sections delineate ICT literacy, policies, provisions and the ICT school curriculum. The final section provides suggestions to improve ICT literacy among Macao youths.
eLearning, eLiteracy, ePortfolio: The Way Ahead for IT in Education - WONG Po Choi
WONG Po Choi
Professor, Hong Kong School Net Research Laboratory, Department of Information Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper discusses the challenges faced by the implementation of the new stage of the IT education strategy. Although public attention is on the upgrading of hardware and systems, we are especially concerned about the implementation of eLearning, eLiteracy, and ePortfolio, and whether the advantages of digital learning are enjoyed by teachers and students. We therefore propose the "School.HK" blueprint and suggest that the most beneficial result is achieved only when the systems in schools get professional support. We also point out that the key to learning is interaction, not the various functions of the systems. With regard to the low utility rate of intranets and eLearning systems in schools, we hope that there will be a greater concern with successfully coordinating internet learning and classroom teaching in addition to purchasing new systems.

Professional Exchange

The Role of Social Identity in the Process of Peer Mediation between At-Risk and Non-At-Risk Youths in Singapore - Vivien S. HUAN
Vivien S. HUAN
Assistant Professor, Psychological Studies Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

[Abstract] Peer mediation is a school-based intervention programme that aims to teach adolescents to manage their conflicts in a positive and constructive way. In this paper, a theoretical framework was used to explain the process of peer mediation using tenets from social identity theory. Four vignettes were used in this study, and the participants were randomly assigned to one of the four vignettes, each of which comprised a different combination of victim and mediator social identities. The responses to the questions in the vignette gave evidence of the participants' level of identification with the victim, their perceived outcome of the mediation session and their levels of empathy for the victim. The results indicated that regardless of the mediators' social identities, at-risk youths had a significantly stronger preference for the ex-gangster victim, while non-at-risk youths preferred the school prefect victim who displayed prosocial behaviours. No gender effects were found. The implications of the findings for schools are also discussed.
Physical Education Learning Among Hong Kong Secondary School Students: A Motivational Analysis - Edward W. CHOW
Edward W. CHOW
Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] Physical education (PE) seeks to help adolescents develop an active and healthy lifestyle in which cultivation of an intrinsic interest in sport and PE learning is important. This study investigated 1,200 Secondary 2, Secondary 4, and Secondary 6 students from 20 schools in Hong Kong. Structural equation modeling analysis revealed that a "cooperative learning climate" promoted perceived "competence", "autonomy" and "relatedness" that in turn enhanced" "intrinsic motivation" in secondary school PE.
A Survey and an Analysis of the Self-Management Ability of College Students in Mainland China - WU Ji-xia JIE Yan
WU Ji-xia
Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Education, Soochow University
Lecturer, School of Mathematic Science, Soochow University

[Abstract] This paper aims at acquiring comprehensive and direct knowledge of the situation regarding the self-management ability of college students in Mainland China. The authors carried out a survey of 1,297 college and university students in Mainland China using a questionnaire that they designed themselves. The results show that the self-management ability of college students in Mainland China appears as a normal curve, while differences were found among different grades, between genders, and between those who are only children and those who are not. The paper also predicts the future trend of the self-management ability of college students.
What Is Pastoral Youth Work Anyway? - SHIU Ka Chun
SHIU Ka Chun
PhD Student, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University

[Abstract] Using critical social theories, this paper argues that pastoral youth work seeks to effect a new relationship between young people, church, and discipline. Drawing theoretical insight from critical youth studies and cultural studies to bear on the regulation of knowledge activity in church, the paper shows how the discursive practice of pastoral youth work enabled the constitution of the "youth" and youth worker.