On June 26, 2017, the United Nations (UN) held its International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The event was meant to cast a spotlight on the global nature of the drug abuse problem as well as discuss potential solutions.

UN International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking

The United Nations marked this occasion by calling on all countries to honor a commitment to address both drug abuse and illicit trafficking and to do so in a way that is consistent with human rights and equality. The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres gave a speech on this day and asked nations to recall the special session convened by the UN in 2016 to address the World Drug Problem. During that session, the UN General Assembly agreed upon several steps that they felt would be most effective as well as humane.

An approach to drug abuse that focuses on prevention and treatment has been a primary focus on the UN’s message for the past year. For instance, Portugal has implemented non-criminal responses for those charged with drug possession for personal use. Applying these types of programs has allowed the country to achieve some of Europe’s lowest drug-related death rates and reduce the incidence of HIV among drug users.

There are also some issues related to drug use and illicit trafficking that affect sustainable development. The UN has a 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which now appears to be threatened. The primary danger to this plan comes from crime, which is now hindering the achievement of some of the agenda’s goals.

Some countries marked June 26 with more flair than others. For example, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand came together to torch $1 billion in illegal drugs in a show of defiance over the rising flow of narcotics into their region.  Among the drugs burned were packages of heroin and methamphetamine that had been seized throughout the three countries.

Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking are a Global Issue

It is easy to  think of the world in terms of your country or even your small community, but some problems like drug abuse and illicit trafficking transcend borders and cultures. The UN reports that about 29.5 million of the world’s reported 225 million drug users have an addiction problem. Of the drugs reported, opiates were considered the most harmful drugs and account for 70 percent of the worldwide negative health impact from drug use.

The 2017 World Drug Report tells us that both the opium and cocaine markets are thriving globally. In 2016 alone, global opium production increased by one-third. The report also gives some insight into health issues related to drug use. Annually, Hepatitis C affects approximately 12 million people who use drugs intravenously. About 1.6 million are currently living with HIV, while 1.3 million suffer from both Hepatitis C and HIV.

How to Get Help for Drug Abuse Issues

As the statistics clearly reveal, drug abuse is a global issue.  However,  it is most serious when it is occurring within your own home. If you or a loved one are unable to stop using drugs, there is help available. Clients at The Recovery Village are provided with comprehensive treatment that addresses drug abuse, dual diagnosis, and mental health issues. Our affordable and effective drug treatment program allows clients to get the help they need as they begin their journey in recovery. Contact us today to discuss admission options.

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UN Calls for Countries to Address Drug Abuse and Trafficking
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