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
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
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.