The General Assembly decided to celebrate June 26th as the Day to Combat Drug Use and Illicit Trafficking for the purpose of strengthening action, cooperating, and achieving the goal of establishing an international community free of drug use, pursuant to resolution number 42/112 corresponding December 7th, 1987, as it has been celebrated since 1988.
From this event, it is hoped to raise awareness of the issues that illegal drugs pose to societies around the world. The day was chosen to commemorate Lin Zexu's dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong Province, China around the time of the First Opium War.
Statistics regarding the global drug issue!
About 35.6 million people worldwide are disturbed by drug use, according to the 2020 World Drug Report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
About 269 million people used drugs in 2018, a 30% increase from 2009. As the increase is a result of population growth and other factors, illicit drugs - including opioids, pharmaceutical opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamine - are becoming more and more available. More diverse and powerful than ever, this poses a challenge to law enforcement and other significant health risks and focuses efforts to prevent and treat drug use disorders.
Unfortunately, adolescents and young adults represent the largest proportion of drug users. Of the 11 million people who inject drugs, half have hepatitis C and 1.4 million people are infected with HIV.
In addition, only one out of every eight people requires drug-related treatment and one in three drug users is a woman, with women representing only one in five people receiving treatment. Prison inmates, minorities, immigrants, and displaced people face barriers to treatment due to discrimination.
As for deaths, 585,000 people died in 2017 due to drug use, an increase of more than a quarter from 2008. The total number of deaths due to opioid use disorders increased by 71%, with an increase of 92% among women compared to 63% among men.
Globally, we note that the risks and consequences of drug abuse increase as a result of poverty, as limited opportunities for education, jobs, discrimination, and social exclusion, in turn, help to deepen the problem and increase the gap in achieving sustainable development goals.
The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated these challenges further, as it has increased the burden on health systems and demonstrated the fragility of institutions and social safety nets.
Some tips for parents and families in order to protect their children from drug use:
- Listen to them, and give them time and attention without any distractions.
- Give them compliments, as those who receive affection, reduce the likelihood of drug use by five times than others.
- Establish clear rules, but be calm if your children break these rules. The consequences should be clear and reasonable without exaggeration.
- Monitor what the kids are doing. Teens are 20% less likely to use marijuana when both parents know their locations.