The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a United Nations International Day against drug abuse and the illegal drug trade. It is observed annually on 26 June, since 1989. The observance was instituted by General Assembly Resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987. The global observance aims at raising awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society. It is also celebrated to strengthen global action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society which is free from drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Drug abuse is a patterned use of a substance (drug) in which the user consumes the substance in amounts or with methods neither approved nor advised by medical professionals. On the other hand, drug trafficking, also known as drug distribution, is the crime of selling, transporting, or illegally importing unlawful controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, or other illegal drugs.

Drugs are chemicals that affect the body and brain. Different drugs can have different effects. Changes in physical appearance can be additional clues to possible drug use and may include: Bloodshot eyes, pupils larger or smaller than usual; Abrupt weight loss or weight gain; Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing; Tremors, slurred speech, or impaired coordination; Changes in hygiene; Dental problems; Skin changes; and Problems with falling asleep or sleeping too much. Changes in behavior, such as the following, are sometimes associated with drug abuse: Depression; Drop in performance at work or school; Unexplained financial problems; Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors; Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies; Frequently getting into trouble (fights, accidents, illegal activities); Increased aggression or irritability; and Lethargy. The following psychological signs are some of the signs associated with drug abuse: Unexplained change in personality or attitude; Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts; Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation; Poor motivation; Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid. Signs will differ based on the type of drugs and the method used (i.e., smoking, injection, etc.).

Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a person’s likelihood of drug use. The short-term effects that occur in drug users depend on the amount used, the potency or purity of the drug, and whether it is mixed with any other mind-altering substances. Drugs can affect a person’s thinking, mood, energy level, and perception. They may impair motor functioning, interfere with decision-making and problem-solving, and reduce inhibition, as well as cause a host of physical health problems that are long-lasting and/or permanent. They can even continue after a person has stopped taking the drugs. including poor self-hygiene, contraction of diseases through needle sharing, poor health, alienation from loved one, trouble with the law, psychological illnesses, accidents, violent crimes and death as a result of drug overdose. Inpatient or outpatient drug abuse treatment provides a mixture of individual and group therapies to help recovering people learn ways to overcome drug abuse. Other motivational and educational opportunities are also provided. If necessary, medication may also be administered to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal and/or cravings.

Globally, governments, organizations and individuals continue to actively participate in promotional events and activities such as mass media involvement, public rallies, and promoting awareness of dangers associated with long term drug abuse.

The following websites contain related information:

https://www.un.org/en/events/drugabuseday/

https://www.gov.za/DrugAbuseTrafficking2019

 

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