The theme, “Share Facts on Drugs. Save Lives,” for the 2021 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking aims at combating misinformation and promotes sharing the facts on drugs — from health risks, the solutions to tackle the world drug problem, to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care.
Presented in five separate booklets, the World Drug Report 2021 provides a wealth of information and analysis to support the international community in implementing operational recommendations on a number of drug policies issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the UNODC’s key messages for this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking:
- Cannabis has almost quadrupled in strength over the last two decades. However, the percentage of adolescents perceiving cannabis as harmful has decreased by as much as 40 per cent. We must work closer with youth and raise awareness about the potential health risks of drug use.
- There is a noted increase in the number of people who use drugs. People who use drugs and people with drug use disorders are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. We must remember not to leave them behind during the recovery from COVID-19.
- The drug market has successfully rebounded after the COVID-19 pandemic but it has triggered or accelerated preexisting trafficking dynamics across the global drug market. We must catch up.
- During the global pandemic, technological innovation has helped us develop new ways to treat people with drug use disorders and increase the reach of healthcare professionals. We must continue bridging the digital divide to extend the benefits of technology to all.
- The population in developing countries is growing, and so will the number of users –particularly in Africa– if we don’t act now. The UNODC Strategic Vision for Africa can support this continental response.
- Too many people do not have access to controlled medicine, particularly in low income countries. We need greater international cooperation.