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Hong Kong Tackles Ketamine Drug Epidemic

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Uploaded on Jul 15, 2009

Drug raid by Hong Kong narcotics forces targets 100 entertainment spots popular with teenagers.

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The local drug of choice? A recent study showed about 80% of users abuse ketamine, an illlegal animal tranquilizer.

For young drug addicts, a small island in Hong Kong is home to the Christian Zheng Sheng College, which offers education and rehabilitation under principal Alman Chan.

[Alman Chan, Principal, Christian Zhen Sheng College]:
If the family does not function as it is supposed to, the school did not function properly, who have been hurt most is the youngsters. So, they look for an outlet.

Odorless, cheap and easy to consume, ketamine, which began as a poor man's cocaine, edged out heroin in Hong Kong around 2000 and then overtook marijuana.

One student says it's just too easily available.




[Yau Wing Yin, Student]:




It is because of my boyfriend. When he had some ketamine, he shared it with me. On the other hand, I met a lot of people by that time and many of them were drug dealers. So, I bought it for myself when I had money.




The drug is not physically addictive, says Dr. Cheng Chi Man, but still carries health risks.

[Dr. Cheng Chi Man, Drug Expert]:
"Yes, it would cause damage. First, say for the immediate effect when you are intoxicated with ketamine, you may got anesthetized if you take a too large dose. It may cause laryngeal spasm, heart arrhythmia and sudden death."

Hong Kong's government has vowed to tackle drug abuse and trafficking even calling for mandatory drug testing in schools as its usage spreads to younger and younger children.

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