Today is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking, sponsored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In seeking to raise awareness about the substance abuse issues plaguing our world, the UNODC has designated June 26th to be the date of annual observance.
The report noted that while cocaine and heroin prevalence may be decreasing in some parts of the world, the abuse of prescription drugs and new psychoactive substances (NPS) has grown.
The availability and use of these designer drugs has kept them out in front of law enforcement efforts as many have yet to become illegal, while others are marketed and sold with labels stating they are not for human consumption and have been able to skirt the system.
The 2013 report indicates that the number of NPS rose from 166 at the end of 2009 to 251 by mid-2012. For the first time, the number of NPS exceeded the total number of substances under international control. Some of these designer drugs have made international headlines because of the gruesome actions committed by people who had taken them.
Unfortunately the office appears to report more on the trafficking, availability and seizures of the substances and not enough on the prevention, intervention and treatment side of the problem. However, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov issued a statement that included, “UNODC promotes a balanced approach to illicit drugs founded on fundamental human rights. This approach must emphasize the importance of science-based prevention and treatment for problem drug users. We also need to convince countries to treat problem drug users as victims and patients who need our support.”
If you have a loved one in need of a drug intervention for one of these new designer drugs or any other substance, contact us today to speak with someone who can help.