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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    First-time drug use up 30 per cent among Hong Kong girls under 16

    Hong Kong - The number of new drug users among girls under 16 in Hong Kong rose almost 30 per cent in 2009 compared with the previous year, officials figures released Wednesday showed.

    Members of the Action Committee Against Narcotics said there were 337 new reported cases of girls under 16 taking drugs last year, compared with 262 in 2008.

    Those numbers contrast with a decline in the total number of reported drug users, which fell 2.3 per cent to 13,909 in the city of 7 million people.
    The total number of drug users in the under-21 age group fell by 3.3 per cent to 3,359.

    The figures, presented at a meeting to review the drug situation in the former British colony, found that as many as 71 per cent of young drugs abusers took their drugs at home or at the homes of friends compared with 29 per cent who took them at discos or karaoke bars.

    The report said 'heroin remained the most common type of drug among the reported abusers' in 2009 in spite of a 4.8-per-cent fall in the recorded number of heroin abusers.

    Ketamine remained the most popular psychotropic drug among the young with 53.9 per cent of abusers under 21.

    The committee said the most common reasons given for taking drugs were to identify with peers (55.8 per cent), to relieve boredom or depression (51.8 per cent), and curiosity (39.9 per cent).

    Drug abuse among the young has soared in recent years in Hong Kong, prompting the government to step up drug education in schools and introduce voluntary drug-testing in some secondary schools.

    In February, a government survey of more than 150,000 pupils found that in only one out of every 10 Hong Kong primary schools, no pupils had taken drugs or turned to substance abuse.

    Pupils as young as 8 admitted drug or substance abuse in the survey.

    Deutsche Presse Agenteur
    Mar 17, 2010, 13:41 GMT



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