Ketamine

Street names:

Special K, K, Kit Kat, Vitamin K

Medical uses:

Surgical anaesthetic

Effects and dangers:

  • Memory loss
  • Affected muscle function
  • Addiction
  • Heart problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hallucination
  • Frequent urination and urinary incontinence
  • Brain damage

Methamphetamine

Street names:

Ice, crystal meth

Effects and dangers:

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Panic and delirium
  • Anxiety and tension
  • Skin sores
  • Depression
  • Heart failure
  • Hallucination and feeling of persecution, which may lead to violent behaviour
  • In very high doses, toxic psychosis, convulsions, coma, brain haemorrhage and death may occur

Cocaine

Street names:

C, coke, flake, snow, stardust, Charlie, crack, gold dust, coco

Medical uses:

Local or topical anaesthetic

Effects and dangers:

  • Addiction
  • Respiratory damage
  • Mania
  • Paranoid delusion and feeling of perseuction
  • Impaired memory
  • Hallucination
  • Delirium
  • Heart disease
  • Nasal damage

Codeine Cough Medicine

Street names:

Robo, DXM

Medical uses:

Cough suppressant

Effects and dangers:

  • Memory loss
  • Slow reactions
  • Reduced breathing rate
  • Brain damage
  • Intoxication and drug-induced mental disorders
  • Tooth decay
  • Many abusers underestimate the addictiveness of Codeine Cough Medicine, and gradually increase the dosages and thus also increase the risks

Heroin

Street names:

White powder, No.4, American money, HK money

Effects and dangers:

  • Addiction and dependence
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Nausea
  • Withdrawal symptoms: watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, loss of appetite, irritability, tremors, panic, chills, sweating, cramps

Cannabis

Street names:

Marijuana, hash, grass

Effects and dangers:

  • Hallucination
  • Impaired coordination
  • Addiction
  • Heightened risk of cancer
  • Reduced concentration and impaired memory and judgement
  • Depression and extreme suspicion of others
  • Irritability and short temper
  • Respiratory disease
  • Regular users of cannabis are more likely to try other illicit drugs

Benzodiazepines

Street names:

Blue Gremlin, Give me Five, Ng Chai

Medical uses:

Hypnosis

Effects and dangers:

  • Addiction and dependence
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Depression
  • Hostility
  • Lack of coordination
  • Ataxia
  • Foetal abnormalities
  • Loss of memory
  • Impaired cognitive and neuromotor functioning

Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine
(MDMA)

Street names:

Ecstasy

Effects and dangers:

  • Tendency to over-exercise, which may lead to exhaustion, over-heating, and eventually convulsion or collpase
  • Causing convulsions of muscles or uncontrollable behaviour of "shaking and dancing"
  • Confusion, depression, insomnia, anxiety, and paranoia, all of which may last for weeks after taking the drug
  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure, posing a particularly high risk for people with circulatory or heart diseases
  • Taking the drug in hot crowded environments can lead to dehydration and heart or kidney failure
  • Abusers may undermine safe sex practices due to reduction in inhibitions

Organic
Solvents

Effects and dangers:

  • Impaired perception
  • Loss of coordination and judgement
  • Respiratory depression and brain damage

Gamma
Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)

Street names:

GHB, Liquid ecstasy, Liquid X, Liquid E, G

Effects and dangers:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Visual disturbance
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Hallucination
  • Severe respiratory depression
  • Coma

Penalties

Penalties for drug offences in Hong Kong and Mainland China

Hong Kong

Drug Offence

Penalty

Illegal possession of dangerous drugs; or, smoking, inhaling, ingesting or injecting dangerous drugs

Maximum penalty: imprisonment for 7 years and a fine of $1 million.

Illegal trafficking or manufacturing of dangerous drugs

Maximum penalty: Imprisonment for life and a fine of $5 million.

Mainland China

Drug Offence

Penalty

Smuggling, trafficking, transporting and manufacturing large quantities of drugs

Imprisonment for 15 years, for life, or death penalty, and confiscation of property.

Smuggling, trafficking, transporting and manufacturing small quantities of drugs

Imprisonment, detention, or control of less than 3 years. For serious offences, imprisonment for 3 to 7 years, with a fine.