Addictive Behaviour

Understanding Drug abuse

Drug abuse is the use of drugs which harm the physical, mental or social well-being of an individual, in doses above or for periods beyond those normally regarded as therapeutic or general usage.

Common drugs of abuse

Name

Category

Effect and dangers

Ketamine
(Special K, K, Kit Kat, Vitamin K)

Others

  • Memory loss
  • Affects muscle function
  • Addiction
  • Heart problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hallucination
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Brain damage

Crystal methamphetamine
(Ice)

Stimulants

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Panic and delirium
  • Anxiety and tension
  • Skin sores
  • Depression
  • Heart failure
  • Hallucination and feeling of persecution which may lead to violent behaviour

Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA)
(Ecstasy)

Stimulants

  • Tending to over-exercise which may lead to exhaustion, over-heating and eventually convulsion or collapse
  • Causing convulsions of muscles and uncontrollable behaviour of "shaking and dancing"
  • Confusion, depression, sleep problem, anxiety and paranoia, such feelings may last for weeks after taking the drug

Cannabis
(Marijuana, hash, grass)

Hallucinogens

  • Hallucination
  • Impaired coordination
  • Reduced concentration and impaired memory and judgment
  • Depression and extreme suspicion of others
  • Irritability and short temper
  • Respiratory disease

Codeine

(Cough medicine)

(Robo, DXM)

Others

  • Memory loss
  • Slow to react
  • Reduced breathing rate
  • Brain damage
  • Intoxication and drug induced mental disorders
  • Tooth decay

Cocaine
(C, coke, flake, snow, stardust, Charlie, crack, gold dust, coco)

Stimulants

  • Respiratory damage
  • Mania
  • Paranoid delusion
  • Impaired memory
  • Hallucination, delirium
  • Heart disease, nasal damage
Reference: Narcotics Division, Security Bureau

Why drug abuse?

  • Curiosity
  • Over-confidence
  • Escape from reality
  • Wrongly think that the drugs would not cause addiction
  • Boredom / kill time
  • Lack of parental care / broken families
  • Make bad friends
  • Peer pressure

Harmful effects of drug abuse

  • Contract diseases e.g. AIDS, Hepatitis B and Tetanus by sharing infected needles
  • Distort perception of and response to the environment, causing harm to oneself and to others
  • Alter behaviour
  • Adversely affect liver, lung, kidney and heart health
  • Acute intoxication and death
  • Problems appear in interpersonal relationships and one can lose friends and even family
  • School and work performance may deteriorate
  • Lead to poor appetite and weight loss
  • Become addicted
  • Since a lot of money is needed to buy drugs, one may commit crimes, be imprisoned and destroy his/her future

Ten ways to say "NO"

Saying "NO" is the only way to protect yourself.
Remember: Other people can't make you abuse drug if you don't want to.

  1. Just simply say "NO"
  2. Refuse strongly. "Don't push me...... I said No!"
  3. Talk about the consequences of drug abuse. "This thing will make me sick"
  4. Find an excuse to leave. "Sorry, I have to go for my tennis lesson now."
  5. Talk about something else. "Oh! I am going on a trip next week."
  6. Suggest other options. "Here, have some chocolates."
  7. Refuse subtly. "I am allergic to many drugs, so I can't take any without doctor's prescription."
  8. Make friends carefully. Stay away from bad people. "You don't need to tempt me. None of my friends take drugs. It's more fun to play basketball."
  9. Mention your parents. "My dad won't let me take them."
  10. Mention professional advice. "Drugs? Let me ask my doctor first."

Ways to refrain from drug abuse

  1. Keep away from all abused drugs
  2. Make friends carefully
  3. Express and ventilate your feelings
  4. Develop good hobbies e.g. drawing, singing
  5. Share your problems with your family members, teachers or social workers
  6. Participate in recreational activities
  7. Cultivate a happy family
  8. Remember to say "NO" to these drugs when being offered

For more information, please call
Helpline: 186 186
WhatsApp / WeChat: 98 186 186
Or browse the website of Narcotics Division, Security Bureau: www.nd.gov.hk

(Revised in June 2021)

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