By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
Around 269 million people used drugs worldwide in 2018, which is 30 per cent more than in 2009, while over 35 million people suffer from drug use disorders, according to the latest World Drug Report, released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Cannabis was the most used substance worldwide in 2018, with an estimated 192 million people using it worldwide. Opioids, however, remain the most harmful, as over the past decade, the total number of deaths due to opioid use disorders went up 71 per cent, with a 92 per cent increase among women compared with 63 per cent among men.
Drug use increased far more rapidly among developing countries over the 2000-2018 period than in developed countries. Adolescents and young adults account for the largest share of those using drugs, while young people are also the most vulnerable to the effects of drugs because they use the most and their brains are still developing.
Cannabis also remains the main drug that brings people into contact with the criminal justice system, accounting for more than half of drug law offences cases, based on data from 69 countries covering the period between 2014 and 2018.
The Report also points out that low-income countries still suffer a critical shortage of pharmaceutical opioids for pain management and palliative care. More than 90 per cent of all pharmaceutical opioids available for medical consumption were in high-income countries in 2018 comprising around 12 per cent of the global population, while the low and middle-income countries comprising 88 per cent of the global population are estimated to consume less than 10 percent of pharmaceutical opioids. Access to pharmaceutical opioids depend on several factors including legislation, culture, health systems and prescribing practices.
Poverty, limited education and social marginalization remain major factors increasing the risk of drug use disorders and vulnerable and marginalized groups may also face barriers to getting treatment services due to discrimination and stigma.
Prevention and treatment continue to fall short in many parts of the world, with only one in seven people with drug use disorders receiving treatment each year.
The World Drug Report and further content is available at https://www.unodc.org/wdr2020
The theme for the 2021 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking “Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives” aims at combating misinformation and promotes sharing the facts on drugs — from health risks and solutions to tackle the world drug problem, to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care.
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented public awareness on health, protective measures for staying healthy, and most importantly, and on protecting each other. A growing sense of global community and solidarity continues to emerge, as does the need to ensure health care for all.
Source : UN