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International Day against Drug Abuse

International day against drugs abuse and illicit trafficking

June 26, 2019

Drug abuse and its illicit trafficking is one of the main issues many countries are dealing with today. Many unemployed youth, college students and even women have become slaves of drugs and have lost their lives. Irrespective of several governmental actions, the problem of drug abuse is only growing globally. The United Nations took a decision on 7 December 1987 to mark 26th June of every year as an International day against drugs and illicit trafficking of drugs. The theme this year is — Health for Justice, Justice for Health emphasising that justice and health are “two sides of the same coin”. We bring to you some important facts about International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Drugs trade was recognized as a global problem by the United Nations at the beginning of the 20th century.

The first international conference on narcotic drugs was held in Shanghai in 1909.

Over the next few years, a system to control the production of trafficking and abuse of drugs was developed by the United Nations. 

In 2009, the member states of the United Nations adopted a political declaration and plan of action on international cooperation to counter the world drug problems. This included the goals and targets for drug control.


In India, the drug consumption, abuse and trafficking has become a haphazard problem that has affected people of all ages, including the children, women and youth of the country.

According to a 2018 report by the United Nations-backed International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), India is one of the hubs for the illicit trading of the drugs. The drugs range from cannabis also known as marijuana to the recent tramadol.

One of the main reasons for the drug abuse in many states is the geographical location that makes it very easy for the illicit drug trafficking. This makes drugs easily available to the people at the cheaper rates.

The National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi on February 2019, had submitted a report on drug abuse titled “Magnitude of Substance Use in India”. This report was sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

According to this report states like Assam, Delhi, Haryana, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Uttar Pradesh have a high prevalence of drug abuse and disorders.

The report says Punjab state has been ranked consistently among the top five in many surveys on drug abuse. Punjab states proximity to the border, served as a route for smugglers to distribute the drugs to the other states. 

It is estimated that in the entire country currently, there are about 8.5 lakh people who inject drugs. 

About 3.1 crore people in our country have been reported to use any cannabis products within the past 12 months.

Around 2.06 percent of the people are reported to use opioids — a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin.

According the recent surveys, in Kashmir state, the cannabis is locally cultivated whereas cocaine enters the valley through the line of control which is then transported to other regions, including Punjab state. 

Major initiative for drug control is done by the Narcotics Control Bureau which is the nodal agency in India for drug law enforcement. This bureau coordinates with all states in their efforts to combat drugs. It also conducts several activities and programmes to raise awareness among the public about the harmful effects of the drug abuse.

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