How to Fight Global Drug AddictionDr. Collins
What are the main global challenges? Of course, this list includes environmental problems, climate changes, terrorism and cyber-attacks. Besides, there is another problem that has international importance – drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Drug trafficking is closely connected with transnational crime and corruption. Thus, drug abuse and illicit trafficking may have influence on the whole countries. These problems weaken national security, impede economic development and undermine public health. Illicit drugs encourage crimes and violence around the globe.
The world is exhausted by negative impact of illegal drug cultivation, production and consumption. In order to fight global drug addiction, international organizations have decided to make everyone aware of this problem. The United Nations designate June 26th to be the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs responds to such threat as drug trafficking by bringing experts to foreign countries and helping them to fight drug-related crimes. Drug abuse is another problem INL concentrates on.
INL is concerned with development of drug prevention programs around the world. These programs provide services for such underserved and stigmatized groups as children and women. INL experts have studied global child drug abuse and developed the first document for treating children who suffer from drug addiction. These treatment protocols operate in such high-risk countries as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Brazil.
During the past seven years INL has funded 76 drug prevention programs in Afghanistan. To improve the situation INL has conducted the first national survey over citizens of 24 provinces for ten types of drugs. More than 10,000 citizens have taken part in this survey. The results show that 31 percent of households use drugs. Cannabis and poppy derived substances are the most popular drugs in Afghanistan. As a result of adult drug use nearly 9 percent of children also use drugs. Afghan government strengthens national drug policy taking into account this survey.
INL has helped Brazilian government to develop the first instant test kit for detecting phenacetin. Phenacetin is one of the toxic adulterants to cocaine or crack. Usage of such adulterants can lead to red blood cell depletion, kidney failure and numerous infections. Instant test kits can detect toxic substances in drugs and help government to save many lives.
Understanding the connection between drug abuse and criminal activity, INL works on reducing the demand for illicit drugs. Together with World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime INL has updated the guidelines for pregnant women who suffer from substance use disorders. These guidelines have become a basis for a new program that helps to decrease rates of newborn drug withdrawal.
INL supports international organizations, prevention and treatment programs that prevent drugs taking into consideration cultural, religious and geographical factors. Besides, INL supports the creation of an international society for prevention and treatment professionals around the world. The main goals of such organization are sharing of the best practices and promotion of new researches. Besides, INL advances the professionalization of staff by conducting examinations.
UN World Drug Report shows that drug use has been stable. During the last few years more than 5 percent of the surveyed population have used an illicit drug once a year. The good thing is that the numbers don’t become bigger. Still, there are many challenges to face. Let’s focus on research and evidence-based practices that will help to implement effective treatment and drug prevention.