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  • 1412
  • Date :
  • 6/25/2005

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in 2005

26 June

In 1987, the UN General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

The theme for 2005 is "Value yourself...make healthy choices."

This year's campaign intends to send out a message of self-respect to young people around the world. It calls on youth to consider the health-related reasons why they should stay away from drugs or stop using them. 'Healthy choices' is not only about saying "no" to drugs but also about choosing healthy lifestyles: sports, music, theatre, civil service, and other positive activities.

Value yourself…

The 2005 anti-drugs campaign targets teenagers and young adults, a group that is particularly vulnerable to drug abuse. At this age, peer pressure to try illicit drugs can be strong and self-esteem is often low. Moreover, those who take drugs tend to be either misinformed or insufficiently aware about the health risks involved.

While young people talk a lot about the “highs” induced by illegal drugs, they may not be aware of the many “lows”. Negative effects vary depending on the type of drug consumed, the doses taken, and the frequency of use. In some cases, drug abuse can cause serious depression, panic, irregular heartbeat, respiratory problems, and even sudden death. Furthermore, while under the influence of drugs, users may wrongly decide to have unprotected sex or share needles, thus increasing their chances of contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other infectious diseases.

…make healthy choices

Leading a healthy lifestyle requires making choices that are respectful of body and mind.  To make these choices, youth need guidance from parents, teachers, and other role models who should not only persuade them to stay away from illegal drugs, but also encourage them to engage in healthy activities. Sports are a good example.

Young girls and boys who practice sports learn skills and values that will stay with them for a lifetime: self-confidence, discipline, teamwork, and fair play. Through sports, participants are confronted with ethical questions that can guide them in finding the right answers on and off the playing field. Sports also improve their health and well-being.

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