Drugs, an affliction casting long shadows over the progress of society, often go unnoticed or misunderstood. The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, held annually on June 26th, shines a beacon of awareness into these shadows.
Unmasking Shadows: A Deep Dive into Drug Day
India • 26 Jun, 2023 • 1,806 Views
By: Anand Swami
Today, let's dive into the heart of this cause, demystify the complexities, and reveal its true gravity. To honor and illuminate the significance of this crucial day, we present to you ten intriguing facts that you may find both enlightening and startling.
A Day of Global Recognition
The United Nations General Assembly, in December 1987, decided to observe June 26th as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This date was chosen to commemorate Lin Zexu's efforts, a Chinese scholar and official who worked tirelessly against the opium trade in Guangdong on this day in 1839.
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Themed Every Year
Each year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) establishes a theme for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. These themes are crafted to promote solidarity in the fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, bringing focus to various facets of this global issue.
A Global Menace
According to the UNODC, approximately 269 million people worldwide used drugs in 2020, representing a 30% increase from 2009. This staggering statistic underlines the urgency of this international observance.
The Poster Contest
To stimulate creative conversations about the perils of drug use, the UNODC organizes a global poster contest for schoolchildren. It offers a compelling way for the younger generation to express their thoughts and concerns about drug use.
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Impact on Youth
The highest levels of drug use are recorded among young people between 18 to 25 years. Early exposure to drugs dramatically increases the chances of addiction, making education and awareness programs directed towards this age group especially crucial.
A Tug of War with Public Health
Drug use and trafficking aren't just law enforcement issues—they're significant public health challenges. Around 35.6 million people suffer from drug use disorders, contributing substantially to disease and premature deaths worldwide.
A Shadow on the Economy
Illicit drug trafficking is a lucrative business, generating an estimated $322 billion annually. This financial might fuels organized crime, hinders economic development, and undermines political stability in many regions worldwide.
World Drug Report
To provide a comprehensive assessment of the global drug problem, UNODC publishes an annual World Drug Report on June 26th. This report delivers a global overview of the supply and demand of drugs and their impact on health.
Planting the Seeds of Hope
Various organizations around the world use this day to host campaigns that plant trees in rehabilitation centres, symbolizing growth and transformation for individuals battling addiction.
You Have a Part to Play
Last but not least, everyone can play a role in combatting drug abuse and illicit trafficking. By fostering awareness in your community, supporting policies that tackle these issues, or helping someone seek treatment, you're making a difference.
The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking isn't just a day—it's a call to action for individuals, communities, and nations to unmask the shadows of drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
Let us all join hands in this global endeavour to make our world a safer, healthier place.
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