In promoting awareness about the harmful effects of drugs on young people, two PolyU projects from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and School of Nursing have received support from the Beat Drugs Fund. These two community-based projects aim to encourage the participation of multiple stakeholders, including parents, teachers, social workers, counsellors and healthcare professionals, to comprehensively explore with young people effective approaches to combating the temptation of drugs.


The project led by Prof. Hector Tsang Wing-hong, Cally Kwong Mei Wan Professor in Psychosocial Health, Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, has initiated a VR-enabled mini-film package in order to communicate anti-drug messages to young people effectively.


Prof. Tsang said, “Edutainment in health communication effectively supports strategies used by rehabilitation professionals to convey messages in substance abuse rehabilitation, not only in promoting community re-integration for those with substance abuse experience, but also proactively combating the temptation of drug use among young people, particularly with those drugs commonly misused, including marijuana and cannabidiol. The use of innovative technology, including VR, to provide simulated experiences of side-effects of drug abuse among youngsters can raise their anti-drug awareness.”


The project led by Dr Katherine Lam Ka-wai, Research Assistant Professor of the School of Nursing, establishes a community network by connecting nursing students with youngsters and their parents with interactive robot-assisted workshops on anti-drug awareness.


Under the Beat Drugs Fund, the Regular Funding Scheme aims to support different sectors in society to propose further anti-drug projects, such as the organisation of preventive education and publicity programmes targeting the general public or specific groups, the provision of drug treatment and rehabilitation services to people with drug problems, and the conduct of research on drug abuse problems.