Drug abuse rises 3%

February 21, 2024

The total number of reported drug abusers in 2023 rose 3% from 2022 to 5,500, the Action Committee Against Narcotics announced today.


According to the latest Central Registry of Drug Abuse figures, the number of reported drug abusers aged under 21 declined by 11% to 659.


The most common substances taken among drug abusers in 2023 were heroin, cocaine and "ice" (methamphetamine), while people under 21 mostly took cocaine, cannabis and ketamine.


Speaking on the rise in the total number of reported drug abusers in 2023, the committee's Chairman Donald Li noted that changes were observed in the drug situation as Hong Kong resumed normalcy in full in 2023 after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Although the total number of reported drug abusers last year was still lower than in 2019 or 2018, the committee reminded relevant government departments to pay close attention to the changes in the drug situation and also suggested that they continue various anti-drug campaigns.


The number of people arrested for drug offences in 2023 dropped 15% to 3,406 compared with 2022. For the same period of comparison, the number of arrestees aged under 21 decreased by 33% to 323, with cannabis and cocaine the main drugs involved.


Meanwhile, 87% of the people prosecuted for drug offences were convicted.

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