International Day Against Drug Abuse

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A Brief to the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

International Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking Day is a major anti-drug abusing observance, however, social life remains regular that day, since no governments around the world declare June 26 to be a holiday, with the exception of some organizations (government, non-governmental, and intergovernmental) that organize awareness workshops against illegal drug use and trafficking.

International-Day-Against-Drug-Abuse-and-Illicit-Trafficking-2022
International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2022

History of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking:

The UN General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in 1987, an expression of their determination to enhance actions and collaboration towards achieving the objective of an international society free from drug abuse. The UN General Assembly decided to observe the day as an expression of its resolution on making international society free of drug abuse. The resolution was adopted unanimously by all States Members of the United Nations. This day has been observed annually since then on the first Monday of February (February 1 in 2016) to commemorate the adoption of this resolution.

The history of the Drug Problem

In the past centuries, drug abuse was rare but it has become a major problem today. This started with the arrival of European colonizers (and their slaves). To control the indigenous populations, the colonial powers introduced alcohol, tobacco, and opium among them. At that time, these drugs were not considered harmful at all. Later on, other psychoactive substances were included in the list of prohibited drugs.

In recent decades, the prohibition policy had an impact on many countries around the world. Even though countries like Portugal and Switzerland have abolished their laws banning the use of some drugs, many others still maintain those prohibitive laws. These can be justified based on two arguments:

  • The War on Drugs is a war against drug abusers, traffickers, and sellers.
  • Drugs are associated with crime and violence.

Significance of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking:

Every year, on 26 June, International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day, celebrates action and cooperation to end drug abuse worldwide.

The theme for International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2022

The theme for International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2022
The theme for International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2022

“Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises”

What is Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse refers to the use of chemicals to create pleasing effects on the brain through the use of drugs or substances. There are three types of drug abuse: acute (short-term), chronic (long-term), and physical dependence.

Acute Drug Abuse – Acute drug abuse is the form of alcohol and other substance use that occurs immediately before death or shortly after death. Commonly seen ADOD symptoms include extreme agitation with violent behavior, vomiting, rapid heart rate, breathing, convulsions, and/or cardiac arrhythmia.

Chronic Drug Abuse – Chronic drug use can lead to physical and emotional damage to the user’s life. Many people who begin using drugs experience euphoria at first, but later develop tolerance to the effects of these substances. This leads them into cycles of increasing use, withdrawal symptoms, and relapse. A person suffering from this problem may have lost interest in work or family responsibilities and become isolated from society. 

Physical dependence – When someone becomes addicted to drugs, they get physically dependent on them. Drugs like opiates can cause severe physical dependence if taken long enough. When someone begins abusing drugs, they may suffer from psychological problems. This kind of abuse lasts much longer than other forms of drug abuse. A person could potentially abuse these drugs for their entire life.

Also read: Stop the Suicide Loop: Understand Suicidal Behaviors

Know the Side Effects of Drugs on the body 

Side Effects of Drugs on the body
Side Effects of Drugs on the body

It’s sad but true that drugs have become a normality in our society. We will discuss the side effects of drugs like marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin. These drugs can harm your body. Some of the side effects include aggression, violence, anger, paranoia, aggressive behavior, heart problems, psychosis, and addiction. Side effects of drugs can vary from person to person. Some people experience no side effects at all, while others may have severe side effects that can even lead to death. 

There are two types of side effects, physical and psychological. Physical side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, insomnia, skin flushing, sweating, heartburn, and high blood pressure. Psychological side effects include anxiety, panic attacks, depression, memory impairment, hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal tendencies, anger, aggression, violence, hostility, mood swings, irritability, and sexual dysfunction.

Why do we celebrate drug abuse Day?

There are many reasons to celebrate Drug Abuse Awareness Day! The purpose of this day is to educate people about the harmful effects of substances. Secondly, it’s a great reminder that addiction can happen at any age, not just adolescents. Lastly, if we were educated earlier on the dangers of drugs, addicts may never have had the opportunity to take them.

What is the meaning of illicit trafficking?

Illicit Trafficking means that someone has violated the law to make money from selling illegal drugs. This is “illicit”. So people who are involved in this kind of crime are referred to as “illicit traffickers”. Illegal trade or trade without legal authorization is what we call “illegitimate”. Something that is done without permission and not according to rules set out by the government. In other words, the state does not allow something to happen or is not aware of it happening.

What is drug trafficking? It’s when someone moves drugs from point A (source) to point B (destination). Drug traffickers are often involved in organized crime and have the desire to make money through illegal means. They may use their vehicles or they may hire other people to do this work.

What can you do to stop drug abuse this International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking?

Education is the only real solution to help people from using drugs. 

  • Schools could implement lessons that teach kids about the dangers of drug use before they start experimenting. This would include a lesson where the teacher explains how certain actions cause damage to your body. As an example, smoking marijuana not only affects your lungs but other things like your heart and blood vessels.
  • Teachers should educate children about the long-term effects of drug use. They should explain what kind of mental health issues may arise if they continue down this path and give examples of how these issues can affect their future. If students understand the potential risks and consequences of drug use, then they are less likely to experiment with dangerous substances.
  • Parents need to know what kind of drugs their children are experimenting with. Make sure parents know about the dangers of using illegal drugs. Educate them about the potential harm that using illegal drugs can cause to their lives.

Developing an understanding of substance abuse: Those who abuse substances do the following:

  • Recreational use of addictive drugs (illicit or prescribed)
  • Utilizing substances to achieve intoxication
  • Misusing prescription drugs

Avoid peer pressure that may lead to eating unhealthy food choices: P

Peer pressure can cause people to eat things they don’t want to eat. Peer pressure usually happens when your friends are eating something, and you want to fit in. So if you’re thinking about eating something that’s not healthy, try putting yourself in situations where you’re alone, and avoid being around people who are doing it or say stuff like ‘I ate this’ or ‘I’m going to eat that. You may not feel comfortable saying no to them, but after that little bit of time, they’ll forget about it.

Don’t ignore mental illness and seek help:

If you are a victim of drug abuse, please contact your primary care provider immediately. They will refer you to an appropriate doctor or professional. You may also want to speak with a counselor or psychologist at school, church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or community center. 

Crisis management and drug control by the Indian Government n the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking:

India has become a hub of illegal drugs and narcotics – including opium, heroin, hashish oil, cocaine, etc. Since this crisis began, the government has implemented multiple measures to contain and eliminate this problem. These include increased police patrols, roadblocks, raids, and arrests.

But does the government have the right approach? Or are these policies even effective? Would they work better than just legalizing drugs?

Let’s take a look at some facts about how the government is trying to handle the drug crisis.

NDPS Act Article 18(4) states that anyone who produces, sells, purchases or possesses narcotic substances shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term that may extend to ten years, as well as fined. Unfortunately, NCB cannot enforce this law outside of large cities due to lack of funding and manpower. The result is that small-scale farmers have a high degree of freedom to operate.

On October 1st, 2016, the Government of India passed the “Prevention and Prohibition of Illicit Trafficking and Regulation of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Bill”. This bill intends to regulate and control the sale of narcotics, strengthen punitive actions, and establish the National Counter-Narcotics Authority. 

Despite the implementation of these laws, India continues to experience high levels of addiction and overdose. The government claims that most of these drugs originate from Afghanistan. We are still fighting against drug abuse and nobody knows how far this fight against drugs will go. 

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