Sunday 26th June 2022 marks the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (World Drug Day).
Global recognition of the ongoing issue surrounding drug abuse and smuggling prompted the United Nations General Assembly to mark the 26th of June as World Drug Day in 1987. This action was carried out with the intention of creating a strong global community that can collaborate to reach the ultimate goal, a drug free world.
Each member state of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) receives treatment, support, and rehabilitation to various bodies from the UNODC. This support ensures each state is capable of implementing procedures to reduce drug trafficking and drug misuse. Examples of the type of support offered include helping previous drug farmers to create a living away from illegal commodities and controlling access to drugs for medical purposes.
In 2021, their campaign moto was ‘Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives’ and whilst there was a focus on this last year, this message has been carried throughout every aspect of the campaign from the beginning. It steers people to accept their responsibility in creating a safe world and utilises research-based facts to educate those who may be vulnerable to misleading or false information.
The 2021 World Drug Report stated that drug misuse led to the death of almost half a million people in 2019 and despite awareness of the problems associated with drug misuse, these figures continue to rise. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic effected this industry in various ways. Whilst the pandemic restricted smuggling to some degree, drug traffickers became more creative in their delivery of drugs. Due to this and the easing of restrictions, they quickly bounced back to operating at their pre-pandemic level. The demand for these illegal drugs also increased with people struggling to cope with isolation and loss of loved ones.
This year, their campaign ‘Care in Crisis’ addresses the drug challenges in various health and humanitarian crises. Today, the ease of access to illegal drugs remains high and along with the spread of misinformation, humanitarian crises and the pandemic, people are turning to drug misuse to cope. As this global issue remains, the UNODC continue to provide vital support to the people who need it most and advocate for the protection of the vulnerable and awareness of drug trafficking and misuse. Click here to visit the United Nation’s website.
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