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EDITORIAL

Do drugs control our life?

Ranjan K Baruah

(With direct inputs from UN publication and feedback may be sent to bkranjan@gmail.com)

One of the biggest challenges in front of young people is to stay away from drugs. Drugs are dangerous for life as it brings more trouble and disaster to families. According to World drug Report 2017, released by United Nations office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) about a quarter of a billion people ( or 5.3 % global adult population ) used drugs at least once in 2015. Of these, around 29.5 million people – or 0.6 per cent of the global adult population were suffered from drug use disorders, including dependence.

As drugs is illegal and banned in majority of countries so there is always trafficking and illicit trade. Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. UNODC is continuously monitoring and researching global illicit drug markets in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their dynamics. Drug trafficking is a key part of this research.

We should know that at current levels, world heroin consumption (340 tons) and seizures represent an annual flow of 430-450 tons of heroin into the global heroin market. Of that total, opium from Myanmar and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic yields some 50 tons, while the rest, some 380 tons of heroin and morphine, is produced exclusively from Afghan opium. While approximately 5 tons are consumed and seized in Afghanistan, the remaining bulk of 375 tons is trafficked worldwide via routes flowing into and through the countries neighbouring Afghanistan.

The issue has become serious and its concern worldwide, so there are many initiatives started around the world. One of the big campaign or activities in this regard is observing a day against drugs. By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the United Nations General Assembly 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.

Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organizations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society. Building on the success of last year, the theme for 2018 is: “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.” It is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.
Past Observances Themes:

* 2016/2017 – “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”
* 2015 – “Lets Develop — Our Lives — Our Communities — Our Identities — Without Drugs”
* 2014 – “A message of hope: Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable”
* 2013 – “Make health your ‘new high’ in life, not drugs”
* 2012 – “Global Action for Healthy Communities without Drugs”
* 2011 – “Say No!”
* 2010 – “Think health – not drugs”

It is the duty and responsibility of each and every one of us apart from government to make our society free from illicit drugs. UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. Established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention, UNODC operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices. In India , Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ( MoHFW) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment ( MSJE) , Government of India are involved with alcohol and drug demand reduction policies and drug de –addiction programme ( DDAP) in the country . Various e –health web based programme related to prevention of substance abuse are also being operated in the country. Together we can make our society free from illicit drugs and let us all contribute to make a better society.

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