Drug abuse and drug situation in Hong Kong in first three quarters of 2022
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     ‚ÄčThe Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN) noted at its meeting today (December 16) the figures of the Central Registry of Drug Abuse (CRDA) and relevant drug figures in the first three quarters of 2022. The ACAN noticed that the total number of reported drug abusers in the first three quarters of 2022 declined when compared with that for the same period in 2021. However, the relevant figures might be affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, and hence fewer drug abusers were in contact with reporting agencies (including treatment and rehabilitation agencies, and law enforcement agencies).

     Figures from the CRDA revealed that the total number of reported drug abusers in the first three quarters of 2022 decreased by 17 per cent (from 4 939 to 4 122) compared with that for the same period in 2021. The number of reported young drug abusers aged under 21 also declined by 21 per cent (from 750 to 589). The three most common types of drugs abused in the first three quarters of 2022 were heroin, cocaine and cannabis, while the three most common types among young drug abusers aged under 21 were cannabis, cocaine and ketamine (commonly known as "K"). 

     According to the figures from law enforcement agencies, among the young arrestees of drug offences aged under 21 in the first three quarters of 2022, those who were arrested for serious drug offences accounted for 66 per cent, which is higher than that for the arrestees of drug offences aged 21 or above by 16 percentage points. Among the young arrestees aged under 21 who were prosecuted for drug trafficking during the same period, nearly 80 per cent were convicted. The Narcotics Division (ND) of the Security Bureau reminds young people that anyone who has committed a drug offence is liable for serious criminal punishment. Young people are urged not to put their future at risk out of greed. Young age is not a valid mitigating factor. 

     The ACAN Chairman, Dr Donald Li, said, "The Government will list cannabidiol, which is known as CBD, as a drug. The legislation will come into effect on February 1, 2023. The public should arrange early disposal of any CBD products in their possession. When the legislation takes effect, it will be illegal to possess or trade CBD products. Offenders may be subject to imprisonment and fines.

     Dr Li also added, "As the festive season is approaching, the ACAN reminds the public to stay away from drugs at all times when travelling outside Hong Kong or attending local gatherings, and especially not to bring or traffic any drugs into Hong Kong." 

     The website of the ND (www.nd.gov.hk) contains detailed information about drugs, including frequently asked questions about cannabis and cocaine, as well as information about cannabidiol on a dedicated webpage. To seek information or assistance from social workers, members of the public can also make use of instant messaging applications WhatsApp and WeChat by sending messages to 98 186 186, or call the 24-hour hotline 186 186.

     The figures of the CRDA for the first three quarters of 2022 are available on the website of the ND (www.nd.gov.hk/en/index.html).

Ends/Friday, December 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:00

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