International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Sunday the 26th of June marks International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. In 1987 the United Nation’s General Assembly introduced the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of their determination to strengthen their actions and efforts to achieve an international society free of drug abuse.

On this day every year the goal is to raise awareness of the problems that illicit drugs are causing. This day is a time to share research findings, evidence-based data and life-saving facts, and to continue tapping into a shared spirit of solidarity. Each year individuals, communities, and organisations from across the globe come together to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal drug use and trade.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime provides educational material to teachers and public officials all over the world to help spread the message about the extreme cultural and economic harm illicit trafficking is doing across the globe. This blog explains the effects of drug use and drug trafficking and how you can help raise awareness of and combat illegal drug use and trafficking.

The Effects of Drug Use

An “illicit drug” can be defined as any drug that has been prohibited under the international drug control treaties. Drugs are essentially chemicals which influence the brain, some affect dopamine levels, this is the reward centre in the brain which promotes positive feelings. Other drugs can interfere with the way in which neurons send, receive and process signals to the brain.

Results from the most recent general population survey conducted amongst the Irish population showed an increase in illegal drug use amongst the general population, which has been on the rise for the last 20 years. Peer pressure at a young age, seeking a sense of escape and experimentation may all be motivators for an individual to begin using drugs. However, there are several negative effects that result form the use of drugs.

Drug use can often lead to dependence and addiction, an individual suffering from addiction generally continues to use drugs despite the negative effects. The individual may experience mood swings, anxiety, changes in behaviour, a consistent need for drugs, financial problems resulting from the continual purchase of drugs, or they may even begin to neglect their responsibilities in the home. Some long-term physical effects of drug abuse include kidney and liver damage, forms of cancer, infertility, seizures and strokes.

Drug use can often lead to injury and accidents. When under the influence of illicit drugs your mind loses the ability to make rational, informed, and safe judgements putting you at risk of injury or death both at work and at home. The use of illegal drugs can result in several health problems, including the increased risk of the spread of infectious diseases. Drugs not only alter judgement, but they are often shared using unsanitary equipment. There is thought to be a connection between illicit drug use and levels of crime and violence. Many social problems also emerge from drug use including family conflict, loss of employment and the removal of children from homes.

The Effects of Illicit Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is often a very violent industry, often run by ruthless organised groups. Drug trafficking is often related to other serious crimes, using profits from the industry to fund other illegal activities such as weapons, modern slavery, and immigration crime. There is often deadly competition between rival drug trafficking groups, there is corruption at every stage of the drug trafficking process with traffickers often exploiting the young and the vulnerable.

Illegal traffickers are often motivated by addiction, suffering from addiction themselves the individual may feel the need to have consistent access to illicit drugs. As criminals devise ever-more creative ways of disguising illegal drugs for transport, law enforcement faces challenges in detecting such concealed substances. The end users of these illegal drugs and people suffering from addiction are victims of a powerful manipulative business. Action against drug trafficking must be taken. In order to eliminate drug trafficking, we need to eliminate the demand for illicit drugs.

How Can I Show My Support?

Simply sharing the correct facts about illicit drug trafficking use can help to save lives. By combatting misinformation, you can help to fight the problem of illegal drug use in Ireland. By knowing the right information, and only sharing content from verified sources you can help to tackle deception in terms of health risks and solutions, prevention, and care.

Community support is extremely important to prevent, treat, rehabilitate, and accept those addicted to substances. Help break the stigma and promote faster recovery. Being a good role model and empowering young people to deal with life challenges could be the difference between a young person starting to use drugs or not. Partnering with government volunteer and support rehabilitation programmes could help to increase access to information for affected individuals and communities. By working together, we can tackle the world drug problem.


If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, get help today. We can help you recover in a healthy, friendly environment and beat your addiction. Do not hesitate to contact one of our counsellors today for information by calling +353 (21) 488 7710 for Cork or +353 (1) 639 2962 for Dublin, or alternatively you can email us at info@taborgroup.ie. We can help you.