Macau’s Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) said Wednesday that it has teaching material regarding the side effects of recreational drugs which provides teaching staff, social workers and medical staff with enough information so that they can recognise the tell-tale signs of drug abuse.
The bureau also urged schools and parents to be more concerned about the rising problem of drug abuse among teenagers and think about the best way to arm children with enough information on the dangers of recreational drug-taking.
Wilson Hon Wai, who heads the Social Welfare Bureau’s Drug Dependence Treatment and Social Rehabilitation Department, made the announcement after a two-hour closed-door plenary meeting of the government-appointed Narcotics Control Committee in the bureau’s premises.
Hon pointed out that during the meeting committee members had raised their concern about the recent string of cases involving schoolchildren being busted for taking and selling drugs.
Last month, the Judiciary Police (PJ) busted five secondary school pupils for taking and selling drugs. The suspects told police that drug use in their school was widespread.
Hon attended the meeting to provide committee members with the latest figures about the number of drug abusers on the government’s central registration system, as well as gathering members’ opinions on the government’s drug prevention work.
Hon said that some IAS staff members and Judiciary Police officers would go to schools to provide training courses for educators on how to recognise drug use in school children and how to deal with cases involving drugs in school.
“The Social Welfare Bureau has teaching material about drug abuse prevention which can provide school staff with enough information … I think that aside from the traditional curriculum schools and parents should also be aware of drug abuse,” Hon was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying, adding, “This doesn’t mean that schoolchildren who have good results in their examinations are immune to the lure of drugs. I think schoolchildren should be taught about drugs in such a way that the younger generation understands the dangers of drug-taking.”
According to a statement released by the bureau yesterday, there were 584 registered drug abusers in the government’s central registration system last year, while it recorded 633 in 2011. The number of drug abusers aged 21 or under stood at 76 last year while it amount to 110 in 2011.(macaunews)