Number of drug abusers rises

The total number of reported drug abusers was 1,779 in the first quarter of 2023, compared with 1,509 for the same period in 2022, the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN) announced today.   ACAN noted that the fifth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic during the first quarter of 2022 may have affected the relevant figures during that period, adding that it will closely monitor the situation in the remaining quarters of this year.   According to Central Registry of Drug Abuse figures, the number of reported young drug abusers aged under 21 for the first quarter of the year was 205.   The most common type of drugs abused among this category of drug abusers was cocaine, cannabis and ketamine, commonly known as “K”.   ACAN noticed that in the first quarter of 2023, cocaine continued to overtake methamphetamine or “ice” and became the most common type of psychotropic substance abused, same as the full-year situation in 2022.   Among the reported young drug abusers aged under 21, it is a concern that over half of them abused cocaine, the action committee observed.   “Same as all other drugs, cocaine can cause profound harmful effects. No one should ever have a try,” ACAN Chairman Dr Donald Li said.   The Security Bureau’s Narcotics Division, in collaboration with relevant government departments and non-governmental organisations, will step up promotion and education to help citizens understand clearly the harm of drugs.   With large-scale entertainment events and social gatherings becoming more frequent and the summer holidays approaching, the division reminded members of the public to stay away from drugs at all times, be it during outbound travel or social gatherings.   To avoid breaching the law inadvertently, people should pay close attention to product labels during online or in-store shopping, and should not buy products that may contain drugs, especially those with cannabis or cannabidiol (CBD) as an ingredient.

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