World Drug Day – Invest in Prevention

This year on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (also known as World Drug Day), we want to highlight the complex challenges Hong Kong continues to face around youth substance use.

While Hong Kong statistics point to an overall decline in use among youth, our experience working directly with over 7,000 secondary students each year through drug prevention efforts, tells a different story. Around 31% of the young people we reach say they know someone in their lives who has used drugs or abused alcohol.

In a society where youth mental health struggles are on the rise, providing positive, healthy coping mechanisms is critical to prevent young people from turning to substance abuse as an escape. Research shows that investing in prevention, though not immediately visible, ultimately saves significant long-term costs. For every dollar spent on prevention, ten dollars are saved down the line.

KELY has long been taking a preventative approach in combating alcohol and drug use among youth. Our Drug and Alcohol Awareness programmes covers knowledge on drugs and alcohol consumption, as well as other issues that can arise from taking substances. By presenting facts and perspectives around drugs and alcohol, young people are empowered to make informed decisions for themselves, and they will be able to look out for and support each other when faced with related issues.

The responsibility, however, is not only on the shoulder of our youth. This year, we also want to focus the conversation on the role of trusted adults

As parents, educators, and community members, our relationships, behaviours, and attitudes towards substances can have a profound impact on the next generation. Whether young people see drugs as a way out or not at all is largely up to us. It's time for all of us to step up, invest in prevention, and model the healthy, drug-free futures we want for our youth.

If you are inspired by our work and would like to help us continue making a difference, please consider making a donation to support KELY Support Group. Your contribution can make a real impact.