top of page

Drugs and society



18:30 – 21:20


1st semester

Lecture venue
Lecture time
Offer semester
  • All along drugs is an integral part of the history of Hong Kong, entwined to many aspects of our society. From opium to psychotropic substances, the types of substances being abused and the patterns of abuse have continuously been changing, and adapting to the specific circumstances of the society. Exploring why people pick up the habit, why they desist or persist, and how it inter-relates to our society, and in particular, how they impact on the explanability of criminological theories and how abusers perceive treatment, may allow students gaining a deeper understanding of drug-related issues in the contemporary society. Through the sharing of law enforcement agents, social workers, clinical psychologists, and possibly the abusers, including the visit of a rehabilitation service would enhance students’ comprehension of the complexity of the problem.

  • By the end of this course, students who have derived the best of the learning opportunities should be able to:

    • Identify and critically discuss the range of concepts and explanations from the criminological, sociological and psychological perspectives in the understanding of drugs and drug-using behaviour

    • Appreciate the conceptualization and measurement of drug use

    • Critically discuss the impact of drugs on the individual and society

    • Demonstrate understanding of the relationships between drugs and crime

    • Able to comprehend and analyze the treatment modalities in redressing drug use

    • Demonstrate the ability to tease out and analyze issues in the regulation of drug use

  • Tasks


    Pre-course portfolio of 1000 words on specified topic


    Seminar presentation on specified topic (group)


    Individual portfolios (1500 words) on reflection of guest speakers’ sharing


    Post-visit observation report of 1000 words to rehabilitation centre


    Group presentation




    1. Abadinsky, Howard (2018). Drug use and abuse: a comprehensive introduction (9th ed.). Boston, MA.: Cengage Learning.

    2. Coomber, Ross; McElrath, Karen; Measham, Fiona and Moore, Karenza (2017). Key Concepts in Drugs and Society. London: SAGE.

    3. Glen, Hanson; Venturelli, Peter and Fleckenstein, Annette (2022). Drugs and Society (14th ed.). Burlington, MA.: Jones & Bartlett Learning Publishers.

    1. Action Committee Against Narcotics (2019). Key Findings of the Public Opinion Survey on 2018 Anti-drug Publicity Measures. Hong Kong: Narcotics Division, Security Bureau.

    2. Bean, Philip (2014). Drugs and Crime. (4th ed.). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

    3. Census & Statistics Department (2022). Drug Situation in Hong Kong 2021, Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics. Hong Kong.

    4. Cheung, Yuet Wah and Cheung Wai Ting Nicole (2019). “Adolescent Drug Abuse in Hong Kong: Prevalence, Psychosocial Correlates, and Prevention”, in Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol.64(6), pp.S28-S33.

    5. Home Office (2022). Drug Misuse in England and Wales: Year ending June 2022. London: Office for National Statistics.

    6. Narcotics Division, Security Bureau (2021). Three-year Plan on Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Services in Hong Kong (2021-2023). Hong Kong: Security Bureau.

    7. Narcotics Division, Security Bureau (2023). Central Registry of Drug Abuse Seventieth-first Report (2012-2021). Hong Kong: Security Bureau.

    8. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2022). World Drug Report 2022: Executive Summary- Policy Implications. United Nations publications.

Honorary Lecturer

Dr Kalwan M T Kwan
Course co-ordinator and teachers
bottom of page