December 15, 2023
HONG KONG – Hong Kong recorded an increase of 5 percent in the number of drug abusers in the first three quarters of 2023 from a year earlier, according to the city’s Central Registry of Drug Abuse.
CRDA data showed that the number of reported drug abusers in the city rose to 4,416 in the first three quarters of the year, up from 4,204 during the same period in 2022, while the number of reported young drug abusers aged under 21 declined by 12 percent from 599 to 527.
Just as in 2022, cocaine continued to be the most common type of psychotropic substance abused in the first three quarters of 2023, said the Action Committee Against Narcotics
And just as in 2022, cocaine continued to be the most common type of psychotropic substance abused in the first three quarters of 2023, said the Action Committee Against Narcotics.
Cocaine was also the most common type of drug abused among the reported young drug abusers aged under 21, with 53 percent having abused cocaine, it added.
The committee noted that the number of persons arrested for offenses related to cocaine was also the highest.
“Cocaine is highly addictive and can cause delirium, convulsions, unconsciousness and even death. Moreover, cocaine could cost its abusers their life savings and burden them with enormous debts since they cannot get rid of the addiction to the drug,” said Donald Li, ACAN chairman.
Li said they will launch will launch a series of anti-drug education and publicity work to heighten the vigilance of members of the public against cocaine.
“The global supply of cocaine has surged in recent years. To evade attention, drug traffickers adopt multifarious methods to conceal drugs in liquor bottles, life-saving appliances and frozen food,” he said.
The spokesperson for the Narcotics Division of the Security Bureau warned the public that drug dealers may post recruitment advertisements on websites and social media platforms to lure residents, especially students and young people, into carrying dangerous drugs.
The spokesperson said young age is not a valid mitigating factor, adding that the maximum penalty for drug trafficking is life imprisonment and a fine of HK$5 million ($640,000).