IAS: Concealment of drug abuse still going on

In recent years, the drug abuse situation has been concealed while the number of registrations of drug addicts decreased, according to the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS).

Due to increasing drug abuse cases discovered recently (with people arrested for planting cannabis), the bureau said it has caused society once more to pay attention to the problem of drug abuse in Macau. 

“In 2021, among a total of 231 drug addicts who [were] registered [by] the authorities, the main [motivation] was to reduce pressure, which related to the pandemic,” said Tang Sut I, head of the department for the Prevention of Drug Addiction of the IAS.

Among the registrants, around 12 people were aged under 21-years-old, and their motivation for drug use was related to peer pressure.

During the pandemic, local youth have had more time to stay at home, therefore, the number of requests for assistance has increased. 

“Although the number of requests was the same number as before the pandemic, the content of their request changed [due to] growing needs [responding to] pressure from family or study,” Tang explained. 

“In the last five years, the application number of drug addicts registered with the authorities was decreasing, maybe related to the concealment of drugs,” said Tang.

Compared to the past five years, overall application numbers continued to decrease from 462 people in 2017 to 231 people in 2021, reflecting the fact that drug use was becoming more and more difficult to find and the need to pay attention to the situation, according to the data from the IAS.

Furthermore, the authorities are planning to conduct a study of around 10,000 young people in Macau, to find the reason why they use drugs and inform their prevention work regarding drugs. Staff reporter

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