Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh :The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which aims to mobilize support against drug abuse around the world, is getting much attention at Global Level. The day, celebrated annually on June 26, was launched by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) slogan is “Do drugs control your life? Your life. Your community. No place for drugs.” The UNODC also teamed up with a group of international teenagers to talk with educational experts about the dangers of drugs. These questions and answers have been recorded as a series of radio/ television interviews, painting completions, awareness rallies, seminars etc.
International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.” With nearly 200 million people across the world abusing illicit drugs (according to the UNODC) June 26th is the day to bring the vast problem of drug abuse to light and bring hope to the world that there are solutions. According to the UNODC world report for 2007, “The menace of drug trafficking has caught people at Global Leval in a crossfire that is jeopardising security and development.” It further stated that around the world, “Drug addiction is killing millions of people every year and creating misery for tens of millions of others. The injection of drugs is spreading HIV and hepatitis.”
It is interesting to note that even though many people are angered by the types and intensity of drug-related criminal and anti-social behavior, there exists side-by-side, a strange fascination which is evidenced by the proliferation and glamorization of one or more dimensions of the drug trade in contemporary art, music, video games, books, newspapers, etc.
This dubious and “on the edge” mindset cannot continue, hence there is the need for a fundamental “mind changing” perspective on how we view crime and drug-related activities in all sectors.
In India, the Coalition against Drugs and Alcohol organized a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs as part of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The week-long campaign, which concludes on June 26, features a mass rally to pledge to fight against drugs and alcohol, street corner meetings and poster campaigns.
Community groups and government agencies in India have planned a range of anti-drug activities such as a hill climb, treasure hunt, slogan intervention, the launch of a song, and a cleaning campaign.
It must always be remembered – sometimes we seem to forget – that drugs are chemicals that can alter the way the body works. Different types of drugs produce different effects on the body. Recreational drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, although legal, still have potentially serious effects on the body.
There is also the danger that prescription drugs, which are made available to a patient, by a doctor or bought over the counter, can be misused and/or abused.
Illegal drugs include prescription drugs that have been dangerously modified and substances that are banned by law.
Because of the altering of the chemical processes in the body, a person taking them can become addicted. It makes the user feel that he/she has to take the drugs. The tolerance which may be developed by the user would cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if he/she stops using the drug. The different properties of each drug affect the degree of addictive disorder(s) exhibited in each biological system. The possibilities of suffering temporary or permanent mental problems are very real!
It therefore must be realistically stated that all drugs have the potential to damage ones health. Injecting any drug with a needle and syringe that someone else has used may lead to a number of infected blood diseases.
Together, working side by side as individuals and communities, we can all make a difference.