Adolescent substance abuse is a serious problem in Hong Kong. Antidrug education campaigns should aim at enhancing students' understanding of the effects of illegal drugs to themselves. Moreover, life skill training is important in helping adolescents face life's challenges without attempting to do drugs. A major component of life skill training is the promotion of emotional competence. The present study outlines the importance of emotional competence and adolescent development. For an antidrug education campaign to be effective, adolescents should be able to identify their emotions and understand their own emotion regulation mechanism. Likewise, they should be made aware of the consequences of their emotions and emotion-driven behaviors. Finally, the use of an inspirational story with a strong message against substance abuse to trigger emotions is recommended for designing an antidrug education curriculum. All these components are integrated in the newly developed curriculum of the P.A.T.H.S. Project in Hong Kong.
Keywords: Hong Kong; Project P.A.T.H.S.; emotional competence; substance abuse.