Ever since its inception on December 7, 1987 in the General Assembly of the United Nations, every year, 26 June has been observed as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. They day is a mark of determination against drugs and its trafficking and focuses on building a society free of drug abuse by strengthening one’s actions and cooperating with other individuals.
Every year, several campaigns and activities are observed on 26 June to mark this day and as an attempt to go one step further in the world’s fight against drugs. This is done all over the world with rallies, videos, and various activities that raise awareness regarding drug abuse and its trafficking.
The campaign for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in the year of 2017 is Listen First. The campaign thrived for the hope of a better future by urging the parents and the adults to listen to the kids and the youth first and help them have a better future. The concept was to initiate communication amongst the generations and building a network where the adults would understand the aspects of childhood and teen life. This will lead to better opportunities for the kids and help them get away from the drugs.
What is drug abuse and how does it affect a person?
Seeking a drug that is difficult to attain, prescribed or not, and consuming it in quantities harmful for the body on a regular basis characterize as drug/substance abuse. The initial decision to take drugs may be voluntary for many, but the repeated and over usage for longer intervals of time reduce the self-control of one’s body and has adverse effects of physical as well as brain activity.
The condition is a relapsing one as the drugs lower the self-control mechanism of one’s body which interferes with their ability to resist the urge of the substance they want to have. The condition is chronic as it adjusts the brain to have excess quantity of the substance and somehow, makes it unable to function against it. It also adjusts to the excess dopamine released by the drugs and therefore, subsides the feelings they give you over time. This also makes the individuals less interested in other social activities due the lack of the “happy hormones”.
- Over the years, more teens have died from prescription drugs than heroin/cocaine combined.
- As of 2013, about 22.7% or more high school students smoke marijuana on a regular basis compared to the 16% who smoke cigarettes regularly.
- United States represents 5% of the world’s population but consumes about 75% of its prescription drugs
- About 50% of high school students believe that it isn’t harmful to try cocaine once or twice in your life or that it has any adverse effects on the body with usage of one time only.
People can opt for various research-based prevention programs that inform students and children at a younger age about the usage of drugs and its risks. The research based programs have shown remarkably positive results over the years and can be organized for different areas of community depending on their liking. For example, a universal program involves informing the students on a regular basis about the drugs and its risks whereas the selective and indicated programs are meant for the individuals who are at a higher risk of substance abuse or have already started on the habit.
Milestones along the way
The road to a drug abuse-free world is paved with stones, however, it is not too far-fetched either. According to a special session held by the UN General Assembly in the April of 2016, the United Nations came up with a special strategy meant for the participant states to counter the world drug problem by setting by various goals and milestones for them. The outcome document of the session addresses the reduction in demand and supply of drugs, along with improvement in the access to controlled medicines and subsequently preventing them.
The policies also emphasize a lot on the national plans of individual countries to control and monitor the drug-related practices and how to prevent and treat it. Apart from this, it covered other areas of human rights, youth, children, women, and communities, and talked about strengthening international cooperation to control the act of substance abuse amongst these groups.