Development of a Community-Based Network to Promote Anti-Drug Messaging and Identify Hidden Drug Abusers in Hong Kong

Ka Yan Ho, Ka Wai Katherine Lam, Edmond Tak Fai Tong, Shara Ho, Cynthia Sau Ting Wu, Man Nok Tong, Lai Ngo Tang, Yim Wah Mak

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Developing a community-based network by training peers as anti-drug ambassadors (ADAs) is a feasible strategy to identify hidden drug abusers. The Ask, Warn, Advise, Refer and Do-it-again (AWARD) model of smoking cessation is useful for enhancing people’s confidence in making referrals to anti-drug services. This study evaluated the effectiveness of such a network by examining the change in knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of 198 ADAs aged 13–18 before and after six months of our training. A one-group pre-test and repeated post-test design was used. One-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was applied to assess the changes in KAP, with p-values adjusted by Bonferroni correction. The results showed that the ADAs statistically significantly improved their KAP regarding drug abuse at the six-month follow-up compared to baseline. All ADAs who knew drug abusers (n = 3) had referred them to services based on the AWARD model. A total of 154 anti-drug abuse activities were conducted, reaching 4561 people. Based on the results, we concluded that the community-based network was effective in improving the KAP of ADAs regarding drug abuse, as well as referring hidden drug abusers. Future studies should consider implementing the network on a larger scale, thus maximizing its anti-drug capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11544
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • anti-drug ambassadors
  • community-based network
  • health promotion
  • hidden drug abuse
  • referral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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