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CS launches territory-wide campaign against youth drug abuse (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (June 22) officiated at the opening ceremony of a large-scale anti-drug event, raising the curtain for the territory-wide campaign against youth drug abuse this year. She called on different sectors of the community to continue to work together with the Government in the fight against drugs.

     To tie in with the United Nations international anti-drug day and to rally community support for the anti-drug cause, the anti-drug event, co-organised by the Narcotics Division of the Security Bureau, the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN) and Radio Television Hong Kong, was held today at Sha Tin Racecourse.

     Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs Lam said that the anti-drug efforts in recent years had achieved encouraging results. According to the latest figures, the total number of reported drug abusers had continued to drop in recent years, with a decline in the number of reported drug abusers by more than 20 per cent in 2012 over a span of five years. The decline in the number of reported young drug abusers was even more obvious, with a drop by more than 50 per cent when compared with that of five years before.

     Mrs Lam stressed that in spite of an improvement in the situation, the Government would not slacken its anti-drug efforts. The Administration was very concerned about the increasingly hidden nature of drug abuse. The Government would continue the multi-pronged strategy to tackle the drug problem in a holistic manner and adopt relevant measures and enhance publicity efforts to address the problems.  In addition, the Government would also encourage parents and neighbours to play a more active role in early intervention and encourage drug abusers to seek early help.

     With the summer holidays approaching, Mrs Lam specially appealed to young people to remain vigilant, to stand firm and say no to drugs if they encountered drug temptations.

     The event today had gained full support from a number of youth organisations including the Junior Police Call, schools, renowned singers and a music band. The organisers specially invited singers Miss Ivana Wong and Mr Louis Cheung, as well as the music group C AllStar, to sing the event's theme song. The music video of the theme song was also shown in the event. The upbeat song aims to share positive energy with youths and encourage them to resist drug temptations and pursue their dreams. The DJs also played interactive games with participants at the event.

     A new TV Announcement in the Public Interest (API) was premiered in the event. The new API has been produced to remind young people not to be tempted by friends to try drugs and to bring out the key message that one does not have to prove friendship or love by taking drugs. The TV and radio APIs will be broadcast on TV and radio starting from today.

     Before the conclusion of the event, the Permanent Secretary for Security, Mr Joshua Law, and other guests led the participants to chant anti-drug slogans, demonstrating their resolve to fight drugs together.

     After the opening ceremony today, various publicity and promotional programmes will be launched. To complement the new TV and radio APIs and posters, advertisements will be shown and displayed on public transportation network. Giant wall banners will be mounted at various government premises. The Government will also step up anti-drug publicity efforts in upstairs bars and karaoke establishments and make use of the Internet and social media platforms popular among youths to disseminate anti-drug messages.

     Furthermore, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Drug InfoCentre will organise anti-drug activities and parent talks. A number of territory-wide and district anti-drug programmes for youngsters supported by the Beat Drugs Fund will also be held to encourage young people to enjoy a drug-free summer holiday.

     Other guests at today's event included the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok; the Chairman of ACAN, Professor Daniel Shek; Mr Law; the Under Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee; the Chairman of the ACAN Sub-committee on Treatment and Rehabilitation, Dr Ben Cheung; the Chairman of the ACAN Sub-committee on Preventive Education and Publicity, Dr Tik Chi-yuen; the Convenor of the Research Advisory Group, Professor Cheung Yuet-wah; the Commissioner for Narcotics, Mrs Erika Hui; and the Deputy Director of Broadcasting (Developments), Miss Leonia Tai.

Ends/Saturday, June 22, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:55


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