International Day Against Drug Addiction 2022 By Thounaojam Bonbihari

Significance of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2022

Thunaojam Bonbihari *

A rally on the occasion of the “International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking” on June 26, 2018 :: Pix – Shankar Khangembam


A drug is a chemical substance that causes an alteration in the physiology or psychology of an organism when consumed. Medicines are generally distinguished from foods and substances that provide nutritional support. The consumption of drugs can be done by inhalation, injection, smoking, ingestion, absorption via a patch on the skin, suppository or dissolution under the tongue.

In pharmacology, a drug is a chemical substance which, when administered to a living organism, produces a biological effect. A pharmaceutical drug or drug is used to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose disease or to promote well-being.

Pharmaceutical drugs can be used for a limited time or on a regular basis for chronic conditions. Psychoactive drugs are chemical substances that affect the functioning of the central nervous system, altering perception, mood or consciousness.

These drugs are divided into different groups like: stimulants, depressants, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics and hallucinogens. These psychoactive drugs have proven useful in treating a wide range of medical conditions, including mental disorders, all over the world.

The most commonly used drugs in the world are caffeine, nicotine and alcohol which are also considered recreational drugs as they are used for pleasure rather than medicinal purposes. All medicines can have potential side effects. The abuse of several psychoactive substances can lead to dependence and physical dependence. Excessive use of stimulants can promote stimulant psychosis. Some examples are cocaine, heroin, marijuana, number 4, WY (World is Yours) etc.

Drug abuse

Drug abuse is the use of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are intended, or in excessive amounts. Drug abuse can lead to social, physical, psychological, emotional, financial and job-related problems.

What is the main cause of drug addiction?

Peer pressure is an important factor in the onset of drug use and abuse, especially among young people. Lack of family involvement, difficult family situations, or lack of connection with parents or siblings can increase the risk of addiction. Lack of parental supervision, love and parental attention can also lead to drug abuse.

Illegal traffic

Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, and sale of substances subject to drug-prohibiting laws. Drug trafficking is a global black market. Most jurisdictions prohibit the trade, except under license, of many types of drugs using drug prohibition laws.

International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, also known as World Drug Day, is celebrated by the United Nations. The global event highlights the physical and psychological impact of drug addiction, drug overdose deaths and drug-related humanitarian crises in an effort to eliminate the threat from society.

The event sensitizes not only adults but also children, who are the most vulnerable, to the dangers of drug abuse. Attention is drawn to the issue of access to illicit drug use for essential painkillers and for scientific purposes.


At the 93rd plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 7, 1987, resolution 42/112 adopted the observance of June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking each year, “an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free from drug addiction.

The date of June 26 was chosen to commemorate the campaign of Lin Zexu, a prominent Chinese politician and philosopher in 18th and 19th century China who, starting on June 3, 1839, destroyed approximately 1.2 million kilograms of opium illegally imported into China. Zexu’s successful campaign had ended in 23 days on June 26.


“Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises” is the theme for 2022. The event addresses the issue of transnational drug challenges, as reported on the website of the United Nations Office on Drugs and crime (UNODC).


UNODC launched a campaign for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. It urges governments, global citizens, international organizations and every stakeholder to prevent drug abuse, provide treatment and restrict the supply of illicit drugs.

Research and evidence-based data is shared with stakeholders, and suggestions and solutions are provided to combat the drug menace. Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organizations around the world, the global celebration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent for society.

Effective responses to the world drug problem require inclusive and accountable criminal justice, health and social service institutions to work hand in hand to provide integrated solutions consistent with the international drug control conventions, obligations on human rights

Sustainable Development Goals

By addressing drug-related challenges on this International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, UNODC addresses existing and emerging transnational drug challenges arising from crisis situations. UNODC continues to advocate to protect the right to health of the most vulnerable, including children and young people, people who use drugs, people with drug use disorders and people in need to access controlled medications.

The campaign invites everyone to do their part by being kind, even in times of crisis. We can do our part by sharing real facts about the drug situation; from health risks and solutions to tackle the world drug problem to evidence-based prevention, treatment and care. The solution requires greater awareness of the environmental impact that the cultivation of illicit drugs can have and its subsequent detrimental effects on the health of the entire community.

It is also crucial for the sustainability of a healthy community. The UN has urged seizing opportunities for meaningful youth engagement, as this also benefits young people through an increased sense of empowerment and responsibility.

Together we can tackle world drug problems and bring about positive change.

* Thounaojam Bonbihari wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The author can be contacted at bon(DOT)thouna(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was published on the web on July 07, 2022 .

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