June 26 is International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking!
This day brings a global focus to issues surrounding drug abuse and its dangers to humanity. These anniversaries stimulate reflection on the effectiveness, and the limitations, of drug policy between and within countries. The UN General Assembly recognizes that despite continued and increased efforts by the international community, the world drug problem continues to constitute a serious threat to public health, and the national security and sovereignty of States, and that it undermines socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development.
The term illicit drugs is used (by the UN) to describe drugs which are under international control which are produced, trafficked and, or consumed illicitly. Examples of these drugs are Opiates, Barbiturates, Stimulants, Hallucinogens, Amphetamines and Cannabis. According to the World Drug Report of 2012, globally illicit drug use is a common occurrence and is a growing health problem in many regions worldwide. Global reporting estimates show that approximately 230 million people of the global adult population have used illicit drugs.
Commonly used illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine etc.) are particularly destructive to individual livelihoods, families and eighborhoods with high social impact and increased morbidity and mortality related to the adverse health consequences of their use. These adverse health consequences include addiction, overdose, violence, mental health disorders, suicide, and infectious complications such as HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C.
The term drug is used in various ways. In the medical field, it refers to any substance with the potential to prevent or cure disease or enhance physical or mental welfare. In pharmacology, it means any chemical agent that alters the biochemical or physiological processes of tissues or organisms. Drug types are described in various ways, depending on their origin and effect. They can either be naturally occurring, semi synthetic or synthetic. Now the intent for every drug is the effect that it makes on whatever the root causes are. Over the years, drug use has become more than an effect for a cause. Its uses have evolved beyond its projected intent. Drugs are now tried out of curiosity, to have a good time, to enhance athletic performance or ease another problem, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. In many cases there is a fine line between regular use and drug abuse and addiction. Very few persons are able to recognize when they have crossed that line.
Because of the effects that drugs has on individuals, families and communities there is a need for us to a pause and consciously dissect our own role and involvement in the war against drug trafficking. What are we doing as individuals and countries across the world to stem this epidemic? Even though there is financial and economic gain to be had in this trade, the long term effects more outweigh the short lived pleasure. Undoubtedly, drugs can control your life! The UN General Assembly, in 1998 framed a defining statement conveying the extent of the global drug menace; “Drugs affect all sectors of society in all countries: in particular, drug abuse affects the freedom and development of young people, the world’s most valuable asset.”