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26 June 2010 - International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking

The theme of this year’s International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking (26 June) is ‘Think health, not drugs’. This is the slogan of the international campaign led by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to raise awareness about the major challenge that illicit drugs represent to society as a whole, and especially to the young. The goal of the campaign is to mobilise support and to inspire people to act against drug abuse. The campaign encourages young people to put their health first and not to take drugs.

The UNODC launched its 2010 World Drug Report on 23 June.

The EMCDDA marks this International day with an awareness-raising event on 24 June for the Lisbon diplomatic community and its partners from the Portuguese authorities. It also launches its latest analysis of drug injecting in Europe. The publication as well as a multilingual summary and a news release are available here.

João Goulão, Chairman of the EMCDDA Management Board, speaking on 24 June, said:

'Injecting drug use has a long history in Europe, but came to the fore in the early 1980s in the context of a growing heroin problem and the diffusion of HIV. Since then it has been associated with over 100 000 deaths. Some 30 years on, we are encouraged that drug injecting now appears to be waning. But we cannot forget that it is still at the heart of Europe’s drug problem.

Wolfgang Götz, EMCDDA Director, speaking on 24 June, said:
‘Injecting drug use was one of the major problems in Europe that motivated policymakers to create the EMCDDA in the early 1990s. The data we publish today show that injecting drug use is declining in many countries, as are rates of new HIV infections among drug users. These developments can been linked to sound investments made in effective prevention, treatment and harm-reduction measures which now reach many more of those in need. Nonetheless we cannot ignore the fact that many drug users still inject their drugs and that this form of behaviour can be particularly damaging. Targeting drug injection and the harms it causes therefore remains a high priority for European drug policy’.


Page last updated: Wednesday, 30 June 2010