International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking observed
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) observes the day every year on 26th June, which was established by the UN General Assembly in 1987.
The day aims to strengthen the resolve of the United Nations to create a drug free society by reducing both demand as well as supply of illicit drugs and increasing awareness among general masses regarding drugs abuse, and also against the illegal trafficking and sale of drugs.
Each Year the UNODC selects themes for International drug day and launches campaigns to raise public awareness regarding the global drug issue and its devastating effects. The theme of the year is ‘Listen First’ with the resolve to achieve a drug free society.
As per the World Drug Report 2015 approximately 32.4 million people or 0.7 percent of the world’s adult population are users of heroin and opium.
In 2014, the global opium production reached 7,554 tons which is the second highest level since the 1930s, mainly due to the increased cultivation in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the global seizures of heroin have increased by eight per cent, while illicit morphine seizures decreased by 26 per cent from 2012 to 2013.
The drug menace does not only undermine the public health and socio-economic conditions but has also become an issue of national security for Pakistan. Though Pakistan is an overwhelming poppy free country, but is a victim of regional opium production.
According to the UNODC Annual Survey of Pakistan 2013, an estimated 6% of Pakistan’s population uses illicit drugs. Cannabis is the most commonly used drug being consumed by almost 4 million people, followed by heroin and opium.
President Mamnoon Hussain in his message on the day has said that that the government is make efforts for a drug-free Pakistan.
He said that Pakistan stands among the leading countries to effectively prohibit illicit drug trafficking through improved border surveillance. He said that Pakistan has been making efforts since decades for a drug free society, and it is only because of these untiring efforts that it is a poppy free country.
He said the government has been pursuing the objectives of eradication of drug trafficking under its Anti-Narcotics Policy 2010 and the Drug Control Master Plan 2010-2014.