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Monday, April 12, 2021

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2020: History and significance of this day

The fight against drug abuse and illicit trafficking is real and the menace has destroyed lives of millions of people including youngsters. According to the World Drug Report 2020 published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, around 35.6 million people across the world are victims of drug abuse. In fact, teenagers and young adults account for the largest share and most of them even suffer from HIV, Hepatitis C and other related diseases.

It was on December 7, 1987 that UN declared June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in order to act towards a society which is free of the evils of drug abuse. And since then, every year, the UN pledges to do more against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

This year, the UN, in its message said that people globally need to have more solidarity and compassion to tackle the menace that destroyed lives of millions including youngsters. For the unversed, the theme for this year’s anti-drug abuse day is “better knowledge for better care.” It means unless people have the full understanding of drug abuse and know its physical and mental implications, they would not be able to counter it.

But apart from the theme, do you know the history and significance of this day? Well, here we are, to tell you the same.


As revealed earlier, The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) observed June 26 as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in December 1987. Albeit, the day is also meant to commemorate Lin Zexu’s efforts towards dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong in China before the First Opium War on the Chinese Mainland.


The day is designated to instill sense of responsibility among people around the world, especially youngsters and teenagers, against drug abuse. From organising events in schools, colleges, workplaces, public spaces to making people aware of dangers of drugs and their use, the UN and its anti-drug abuse arm, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) also sim to deal with illicit trafficking of drugs in the disguise of legal pharmaceutical businesses.

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