Significance of the Intl Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking

Thounaojam Bonbihari
A drug is any chemical substance that causes a change in an organism's physiology or psychology when consumed. Drugs are typically distinguished from food and substances that provide nutritional support. Consumption of drugs can be via inhalation, injection, smoking, ingestion, absorption via a patch on the skin, suppository, or dissolution under the tongue.
In pharmacology, a drug is a chemical substance which, when administered to a living organism, produces a biological effect. A pharmaceutical drug or medicine, is used to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose a disease or to promote well-being.
Pharmaceutical drugs may be used for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorders.
Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that affect the function of the central nervous system, altering perception, mood or consciousness.
These drugs are divided into different groups like: stimulants, depressants, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, and hallucinogens. These psychoactive drugs have been proven useful in treating wide range of medical conditions including mental disorders around the world. The most widely used drugs in the world include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol which are also considered recreational drugs, since they are used for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes. All drugs can have potential side effects. Abuse of several psychoactive drugs can cause addiction and physical dependence. Excessive use of stimulants can promote stimulant psychosis. Few examples are cocaine, heroin, marijuana, number 4, WY (World is Yours) etc.
Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is the use of prescription or over the counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are meant to be used, or in excessive amounts. Drug abuse may lead to social, physical, psychological, emotional, financial and job related problems.
What is the main cause of drug abuse?
Peer pressure is a strong factor in starting the use and misuse of drugs, particularly for young people. Lack of family involvement, difficult family situations or lack of a bond with parents or siblings may increase the risk of addiction. Lack of parental supervision, parental love and care may also lead to drug abuse.
Illicit Trafficking
Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. The illegal drug trafficking is a global black market. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs through the use of drug prohibition laws.
International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, also known as World Drug Day, is observed by the United Nations. The global event highlights the physical and psychological impact of substance abuse, drug overdose deaths and drug related humanitarian crises with an aim to eliminate the menace from society.
The event spreads awareness about the dangers of drug abuse not just to adults but also to children, who are the most vulnerable. Attention is brought to the issue of access to illicit drug use for essential pain relief medications and scientific purposes.
During the 93rd plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 7, 1987, resolution 42/112, adopted to observe June 26 as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking every year as an “expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.”
The date of June 26, was chosen to commemorate the campaign by Lin Zexu, a prominent Chinese politician and philosopher from 18th-19th century China who destroyed, starting June 3, 1839, about 1.2 million kilograms of opium illegally imported into China. Zexu’s successful campaign had concluded in 23 days on June 26.
“Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises” is the theme for 2022. The event addresses the issue of transnational drug challenges, as noted on the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) website.
The UNODC has put forward a campaign for International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. It urges Governments, world citizenry, international organisations and each stakeholder to prevent drug abuse, provide treatment, and restrict the illicit drug supply.
Data based on research and evidence is shared with the stakeholders, and suggestions and solutions are provided to tackle the drug menace. Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organizations worldwide, the global observance of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.
Effective responses to the world drug problem require inclusive and accountable institutions of criminal justice, health, and social services to work hand in hand to provide integrated solutions in line with the international drug control conventions, human rights obligations
Sustainable Development Goals
Addressing drug challenges this International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, UNODC addresses existing and emerging transnational drug challenges stemming from situations of crisis. UNODC continues 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. The campaign invites everyone to do their part by caring, even in times of crisis.
We can do our part by sharing real facts on the drugs situation; from health risks and solutions to tackle the world drug problem to evidence based prevention, treatment and care. Solution requires greater awareness of the environmental impact that illicit drug cultivation can have and its subsequent detrimental effect on the health of the whole community.
It is also crucial to the sustainability of a healthy community. UN urged to avail opportunities for meaningful youth engagement, as it also benefits the youth through increased sense of empowerment and responsibility.
Together, we can tackle the world drug problems and bring a positive change.