International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking - June 26

About  :

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking or World Drug Day is observed on 26th June every year to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse. The theme for 2022 is “Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises”. This day is commemorated to highlight the dangers of drug use and their illegal trade and emphasize the hazards of drug addiction and illegal trafficking.

Hazards of drug use  :

The misuse of illicit drugs can cause risks to health both psychologically and physically on a short and long term basis. The long term hazards are the following :

  • Addiction
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Liver failure and kidney damage
  • Unpredictable behaviour leading to injuries and fatalities
  • Nausea, hallucinations, paranoia
  • Loss of appetite and malnutrition
  • Cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, increased heart rate, constricted blood vessels, heart attack and heart failure
  • Lung damage

Types of drugs  :

The most common types of drugs can be placed into three categories :

a) Sedative drugs – alcohol, heroin and tranquilizers.

b) Stimulant drugs – cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamine. They can damage the brain cells and cause anxiety or panic attacks and heart attacks.

c) Hallucinogenic drugs – LSD and magic mushrooms which can produce disturbing experiences leading to erratic behaviour.

Addiction can harm other people :

  • Negative effects of drug use while pregnant or breastfeeding – Drug use during pregnancy can cause a baby to go into withdrawal after birth whose symptoms may include tremors, problems with sleeping and feeding and even seizures.
  • Negative effects of secondhand smoke – Secondhand tobacco smoke exposes bystanders to at least 250 harmful chemicals increasing the risk of heart disease and lung cancer among non smokers.
  • Increased spread of infectious diseases – Injection drug use is a major factor in the spread of hepatitis C and can also be the cause of endocarditis and cellulitis.
  • Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents – Drugged driving puts the driver, passengers and others sharing the road at risk.

Side effects of drug addiction :

  • Weakened immune system
  • Abnormal heart rates leading to heart attacks, collapsed veins and blood vessel infections from injected drugs.
  • Nausea and abdominal pain
  • Increased strain on the liver leading to liver failure
  • Seizures, stroke, mental confusion and brain damage
  • Lung disease

Treatment :

Detoxification – Medically assisted detox allows one to rid the body of addictive substances in a safe environment. Detox does not treat the underlying behavioural causes of the addiction, thus, used in combination with other therapies.

Medication assisted therapies – Medicine can help control cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms playing an important role when combined with behavioural therapies.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – This therapy not only helps in recognizing unhealthy behavioural patterns but, also helps in learning to identify triggers and develop coping skills. This therapy increases healthy life skills and persist with other forms of treatment like medication.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) – This therapy helps in recognizing negative thoughts and gives ways to combat feelings of self defeat.

Contingency Management Therapy – It reinforces positive behavoiur and has been used to combat relapse.

12 – step Facilitation Therapy – This is a form of group therapy which is used to treat alcohol and substance abuse. The therapy begins with acceptance followed by surrender to a higher power and eventually transition to involvement in consistent group meetings.


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