International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed on 26 June every year to raise awareness about illicit drug abuse and trafficking. This day was first observed by the UN General Assembly in 1987. According to United Nations statistics 230 million people worldwide are using drugs. The UN World Drug report 2007, stated that drugs worth around 322 billion US$ had been traded around the world every year. The theme of this year will be “Listen first”.
'Listen First' is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities. Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them so that they will grow healthy and safe.
Drug abuse is one of the most serious health problems. Besides damaging health, it has several side effects such as economic loss, antisocial behaviour such as stealing, violence and crime besides social stigma and overall downfall of the society.
Drug abuse, however, does not only include consumption of drugs such as cocaine, hallucinogens, cannabis, opiates among others, but also includes prescription medications such as painkillers and sleeping pills.
According to the World Drug Report 2017, released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), about a quarter of a billion people used drugs at least once in 2015.
Aspects Of Health Affected By Drug Abuse
Persons who are addicted to drug suffer from ‘withdrawal symptoms’ when they are deprived from drug. Heroin or sedative hypnotic drugs can cause sleepiness and slowed breath, cocaine intoxication can cause rapid heart rate and alcohol consumption leads to tremors and seizures.
Psychological and mental problems:
- Wild mood swings, depression, anxiety,
- Loss of interest in routine activity.
- Mental illness and their complications such as hallucinations, confusion.
- Psychological tolerance to the drug's effects creating a desire to do ever-increasing amounts of the drug.
- Desire to engage in risky behaviour.
Anti-social activities, stealing, crime, violence, terrorism.