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26. June 2014.

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – 26 June

Drug Abuse Still Responsible for the Loss of 200,000 Lives Every Year

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, observed on 26 June, aims at improving action and collaboration in preventing drug abuse and illicit trafficking, with the final aim of achieving a society free of drug abuse. This aim goes in line with the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, established by the United Nations General Assembly.

As agreed by Member States this anniversary is a reminder of the objective to create an international society free of drug abuse. 

Even though international community put increased efforts in holding drug abuse and illicit trafficking under control, the world drug problem still represents a serious risk to security, public health, and well-being of young people in particular. Every year up to 200,000 people still die due to illicit drug abuse. Yuri Fedotov, UNODC .

Executive Director emphasizes three approaches to the problem: „ First, sustained success against illicit drugs requires a balanced, cooperative, and integrated approach founded on the conventions that addresses both supply and demand reduction; second, a balanced approach includes comprehensive measures focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social protection and cohesion; and third, science holds the key. UNODC is bridging the gap between science and practice by fostering a dialogue between policy makers and the scientific community.”

Consequences of Illicit drugs abuse put people’s health and welfare at risk, bringing agony and difficulties to their families, as well.  Drug abuse leads to a variety of additional problems such as dysfunctional families,, destabilized  relationships, problems with education and employment opportunities. They affect communities, criminal justice systems and overall society.  

However, UNODC’s theme for International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2014 brings also a message of hope: “Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable. Those who suffer from drug abuse disorders can be supported through evidence-based treatment, and many of those who die, do so from overdoses that are preventable. Children and young people must also be educated on the dangers of illicit drugs. “

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