The Commissioner for Narcotics, Mrs Clarie Lo officiated at a dance party to kick-off an anti-drug event at the Wanchai Southorn Playground today (April 15) to publicise anti-drug messages to youth.
The event, attended by over a thousand young people, was jointly organised by the Eternal Flame Action and the Junior Police Call.
"The aim of using dance party as a kick-off ceremony is to demonstrate that healthy dance parties are appealing to young people too," Mrs Lo said.
With regard to the misconception rumored by drug pushers that psychotropic substances are not addictive and are less harmful, Mrs Lo said: "All drugs of abuse, including psychotropic substances are addictive and are extremely harmful. Psychologically and biologically, they will lead to a stronger craving, which would end up with bigger and more frequent dosages, and eventually one may die of an overdose."
"It is also illegal to take dangerous drugs. The maximum penalty of possession of dangerous drugs is seven years' imprisonment and a fine of $1 million while for trafficking and manufacturing is life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million. More education on the harmful effects of drugs will help young people become more alert," she said.
To this end, anti-drug leaflets and refusal skills techniques were distributed to the participants at the venue.
Mrs Lo also suggested to young people to discuss their problems and difficulties with their parents, teachers and school social workers. Reliance upon drug abuse would not help them to get rid of problems and pressures.
"Support from friends in resisting psychotropic substances plays a key role when young people are confronted by the temptation." she said.
"Active participation by young people in healthy activities such as sports activities plays a key role in the prevention of psychotropic substance abuse by youth," she added.
The Narcotics Division has launched various preventive education and publicity programmes targeting at the youth. Drug education talks are conducted for primary and secondary school students to enhance their understanding of the harmful effects of drugs and equip them with necessary skills to refuse drug offers.
For those who are at work, Mrs Lo said: "Drug education talks are also provided for employees at their workplace. Our expanded volunteer scheme allows young people an opportunity to promote the anti-drug cause through taking part in anti-drug activities. Since 2001 is the International Year of the Volunteers, I appeal to you to join our team to be an anti-drug volunteer. Application forms for joining the volunteer scheme can be picked up at the Drug InfoCentre run by the Narcotics Division."
Located on 30/F, Queensway Government Offices, High Block, Central. The Drug InfoCentre provides a one-stop service for the provision of drug related information and library facilities. It also serves as a focal point for drug education and community involvement activities.
In view of the increasing problem of cross-border traffic and abuse of drugs, the Mainland, Hong Kong and Macau, have stepped up their cooperative efforts. A high-powered conference involving the three places will be held in Hong Kong in November this year for policy makers, enforcement officials and non-government organisations which are involved in the anti-drug cause.
"In particular, on the preventive education and publicity front, we will conduct a Youth Anti-drug Forum and essay writing competition for secondary school students," Mrs Lo said.
"This will provide young people in the three places an opportunity to directly express themselves and exchange views with each other on how to tackle the drug problem," she added.
End/Sunday, April 15, 2001