The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, also known as ‘World Drug Day’, is celebrated annually on 26 June. The theme of World Drug Day 2020 is “Better Knowledge for Better Care.”
According to the UNODC, nearly 200 million people are using illicit drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, opiates, and sedative-hypnotics worldwide.
The United Nations General Assembly decided to designate June 26 as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in December 1987. The chosen date is to commemorate Lin Zexu’s dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong just before the First Opium War in China.
Drug abuse is one of the most serious health problems. Besides causing serious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, and tuberculosis, it has several side effects. These include economic loss, antisocial behavior such as stealing, violence and crime, social stigma, and the overall downfall of the society.
Drug rackets operate internationally, but some countries are trans-shipment points for drug circulation. India, possibly because of its strategic location, is more prone to drug activities including drug trafficking and local consumption. The influence of westernization, changing family structure and peer pressure are some of the reasons behind drug abuse.
Better Knowledge for Better Care
It emphasizes the need to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and how in turn, better knowledge will foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance, and security.
UNODC encourages individuals, non-profit organizations, the private sector, and the Member States to get involved in its social media campaign to mark this day and invites them to draw on the resources provided in the social media campaign package.