International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking is marked every year on 26 June. Supported by individuals, communities and various organisations all over the world, this annual global observance aims to raise awareness about the major problem that illicit drugs pose to the society at large.
With its resolution 42/112 dated 7 December 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking with an aim to strengthen action and cooperation towards achieving the goal of an international society that is free of drug abuse.
The day also aims to commemorate Lin Zexu’s efforts for the strategic dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong in China before the First Opium War that took place on the Chinese Mainland.
What is the day’s significance?
The International Day against Drug abuse and Illicit trafficking aims to instill a sense of responsibility among people around the world, particularly youngsters and teenagers.
Events take place in schools, colleges, public spaces and workplaces around the world to spread awareness among the people about the dangers of using drugs.
The UN, with the help of its anti-drug abuse arm, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) makes people aware of the menace and urges governments to avoid stimulating the narco-economy. It also tackles the problem of illicit trafficking of drugs in the disguise of legal pharmaceutical businesses.
What is the theme?
The theme for this year is "Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crisis". The COVID-19 pandemic, a climate crisis, soaring energy and food prices as well as the supply chain disruptions have taken us on the edge of a global recession.
The day this year will focus on the existing and emerging transnational drug challenges that arise from situations of crises. With the #CareInCrises campaign, UNODC is urging the governments, civil society, international organisations, and all stakeholders to act immediately to protect people, including strengthening drug use prevention and treatment and also dealing with illicit drug supply.