Addiction is a problem that poses a threat to the existence of human beings. It threatens the lives of young people and the elders as well. To remind the world to keep working towards creating a society free of drug abuse, many countries across the world and institutions mark the “International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”, on June 26.
The day aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs pose to society. This year’s theme is “Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises” and it is focused on creating awareness messages about the hazardous impacts of drug abuse on society and creating a world without it.
The UN institutions and the global states like Egypt devote June 26 to people who fight addiction and illicit trafficking issues. The idea behind the day was introduced by the United Nations General Assembly, in 1987.
On this day every year, many international communities and various organizations all over the world join in to observe World Drug Day in order to help raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs pose to society.
Moreover, the UN institutions call on the world to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse.
They also urged medical institutions to find solutions to tackle the world drug problem to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care resources in times of crisis.
This year, UNODC took this occasion to address transnational drug challenges stemming from situations of crisis.
“We continue to advocate to protect the right to health for the most vulnerable, including children and youth; people using drugs; people with drug use disorders; and people who need access to controlled medicines,” they said.
In a statement released by the UN, António Guterres, UN Chief, said, “This year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking shines a spotlight on the impact of drug challenges on health and humanitarian crises.”
He pointed out that the ongoing wars and conflicts, climate disasters, forced displacement, and grinding poverty create fertile ground for drug abuse, adding that COVID-19 makes a bad situation even worse. “At the same time, people living through humanitarian emergencies are far less likely to have access to the care and treatment they need and deserve.”
In addition to this, he noted that many criminals are profiting from people’s misery, with cocaine production at record highs, and a five-fold increase in seizures of methamphetamines and a near-quadrupling of amphetamine seizures over the last decade.
“On this occasion, we renew our commitment to ending this scourge and supporting those who fall victim to it,” he pointed out. This includes non-discriminatory policy solutions centered around people, health, and human rights, underpinned by strengthened international cooperation to curb the illicit drug trade and hold accountable those who profit from human misery,” his statement read.
“We must also strengthen science-based treatment and support services for drug users, and treat them as victims who need treatment rather than punishment, discrimination, and stigma — including treatment for those living with infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.”
“On this important day, let us commit to lifting this shadow once and for all, and giving this issue the attention and action it deserves,” he concluded.