International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date26 June 2024
2025 Date26 June 2025

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

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International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is an observance that raises global awareness and action against the harmful effects of drugs on society. This occasion highlights the significance of raising awareness on drug-related issues, providing support to those suffering from addiction, and combatting drug trafficking. Various initiatives are conducted during this time, including educational and preventative campaigns, to promote unity and solidarity in the global fight against drugs, which permeates borders and impacts all communities.

The inception of this observance dates back to 1987 when it was established by the United Nations in response to increasing drug abuse and drug trade worldwide. In particular, the UK has been grappling with addiction issues, especially among the younger population, and the prevalence of county lines drug dealing, which exploits vulnerable children and adults. By observing this international day, the United Kingdom reinforces its commitment to addressing these issues and strengthening cooperation with other nations.

On International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the United Kingdom actively participates in raising awareness and engaging its citizens to play a part in the fight against drugs. Events and activities, such as workshops, seminars, and training sessions, are organised to educate the public on the dangers of drug abuse, prevention methods, and resources for those affected. Additionally, campaigns are conducted by various organisations, highlighting the importance of a united approach towards eradicating drug-related issues. The United Kingdom observes this day on the 26th of June.

Facts about this day

  • No one is immune from addiction; it afflicts people of all ages, races, classes, and professions - Patrick J. Kennedy, American democratic politician and former US representative for Rhode Island.
  • Around 8.4% of the adult population (16-59 years old) in England and Wales were estimated to have used a drug in 2020, with the most common drugs being marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy.
  • According to the report, the UK is Europe's largest cocaine market, with an estimated annual consumption of 117 metric tons.

Top things to do in the UK for this observance

  • Donate to one of the many addiction and substance abuse recovery charities and safe injection sites in your neighborhood. All proceeds are used to help treat addicts who are looking to recover from drug addiction and return to society and safe needle programs help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
  • Attend the World Drug Report 2016, which is organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, by watching the webcast online.
  • Watch a film about about drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Cocaine: Britain's White Epidemic (2004) - A Channel 4 documentary that explores the rise in cocaine use in the United Kingdom, examining its impact on users and society as a whole.
    2. Ross Kemp on Gangs (2006-2009) - A documentary TV series that follows actor and journalist Ross Kemp as he investigates various gangs and criminal organizations worldwide.
    3. Drugsland (2017) - A BBC Three documentary series that examines the impact of illegal drugs in the United Kingdom, covering topics such as addiction, drug-related crime, and how the police are tackling the issue.
  • Read a book to learn more about drug abuse and trafficking in the United Kingdom. Here are our recommendations:
    1. Narcotics Control and Drugs Policy in Britain: The Origins of Drug Policy by David J. Bewley-Taylor
    2. Cocaine Trafficking in Britain: The Evolution, Organization, and Logistics of a Clandestine Market by Tim Blackman
    3. Club Drugs and Illicit Drug Use: The United Kingdom Experience by Richard Hammersley and Nigel McKeganey

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