Voluntary school drug tests from September-- Ketamine is still the main drug

By enquirewithin · Jun 19, 2009 ·
  1. enquirewithin
    All 23 secondary schools in Tai Po, involving around 20,000 students, will participate in the initial round.The announcement came on a day when there were five reported cases of drug abuse in 24 hours, one involving a 14-year-old student.Voluntary drug testing in schools will be introduced in September, a year ahead of schedule. View attachment 9170

    Speaking after a meeting of the Action Committee Against Narcotics, Commissioner for Narcotics Sally Wong Pik-yee said the original plan was to introduce a pilot scheme in 2010."As there are voices urging the tests be speeded up and with several school principals eager to join the scheme, the test will be implemented this year," she said.Wong said school principals from several districts have shown interest, but she did not have exact figures.The initial tests will be conducted on a small scale, considering current resources for drug rehabilitation services.
    Details will be discussed with the Education Bureau.

    The names of consultants, who will draw up the guidelines for schools, will be announced next month.

    Action Committee Against Narcotics chairman Daniel Shek Tan- lei said the number of female drug takers under 21 increased 18.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, though the total number of users under 21 dropped 5 percent to 1,200. Ketamine is still the main drug being abused, he said. There were five cases in Mong Kok, Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun and Wong Tai Sin within 24 hours of the meeting being held.

    A 24-year-old woman fell unconscious in her home in King Lam Estate, Tseung Kwan O, at about midnight on Wednesday following a suspected ketamine overdose.Police found ketamine in her home and she was arrested for possession of a prohibited drug before being admitted to Tseung Kwan O Hospital for treatment.Three students of Ju Ching Chu Secondary School in Tuen Mun - two aged 14 and one 17 - were arrested yesterday. A 14-year-old and the 17-year- old were charged with consumption of dangerous drugs, while the other 14-year-old was charged with providing such drugs.

    All three were released on bail and told to report to police a month later. On Wednesday afternoon, a 16-year-old female student at the same school collapsed in the Lung Mun Oasis car park, also following a suspected ketamine overdose. She was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital and is in stable condition. She was also arrested for consumption of dangerous drugs. Shek noted that drug rehabilitation institutions are overcrowded and his committee is studying how to provide more facilities, particularly with drug testing due to begin in three months.

    PS33-Centre for Psychotropic Substance Abusers consultant Ho Fung- kuen said it takes about two months for a social worker to identify a drug abuser whereas in the past it took only five to 10 working days. She feared the determination of youngsters to quit would weaken if they did not get immediate attention.

    Meanwhile, anti-drug enforcers seized 3.4 kilograms of ketamine in two separate incidents yesterday.Customs officers intercepted a man at the Lo Wu border control and allegedly found 3 kilograms of the drug on him, worth HK$348,000. The 48-year- old man will face charges of trafficking in dangerous drugs in Fan Ling court today.A 24-year-old man was arrested when police raided a flat in Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, and seized 400 grams of ketamine.

    Beatrice Siu


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