World Drug Day

United Nations Office On Drug And Crime (UNODC)

World Drug Day

Current  context – Abuse of drugs and their illicit trafficking poses an existential threat to individuals, families, and communities worldwide, inspite of serious efforts to contain them. The consequences of drug abuse are far-reaching, leading to deteriorating health, broken relationships, and a loss of productivity.

Every year June 26 is celebrated  to raise essential awareness about the devastating effects of drug abuse, as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking or World Drug Day.

drug abuse


The United Nations General Assembly decided on December 7, 1987, to observe June 26 as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This was done to support their efforts to make society drug-free.

Lin Zexu , Leading Chinese scholar and official of the Qing dynasty, accepted as a national hero for his stance against the British before the Anglo-Chinese Opium War (1839–42) is considered the motivation behind the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking .

Theme for 2023 –

This year’s theme is “People First: stop stigma and Discrimination, strengthen Prevention”.

International agency to coordinate efforts -

The aim of the United Nations Office On Drug And Crime (UNODC) is to raise awareness about respecting and empathizing with drug users, providing evidence-based, voluntary services to all, offering alternatives to punishment, prioritising prevention, and leading compassionately. UNODC’s campaign for this year also said that it aims to combat  discrimination against people who use drugs by promoting language and attitudes that are respectful and non-judgmental.”

Indian Government Schemes and Centres

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been implementing a Central Sector Scheme of Assistance for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse since 1985 for identification counselling, treatment and rehabilitation of addicts through voluntary and other eligible organisations. Under this scheme, financial assistance is given to voluntary organisations and eligible agencies for running and maintaining Integrated Rehabilitation Centres for Addicts.

A National Centre for Drug Abuse Prevention has also been set up by the National Institute of Social Defence to provide technical support to the government on policies relating to substance abuse prevention and providing services for substance demand reduction. This Centre also carries out programmes for capacity building and training personnel of de-addiction centres.

National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction  

The Ministry of Social Justice and empowerment has prepared a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction for the period of 2018-25. This plan focuses on:

  • Preventive education
  • Awareness generation
  • Identification, counselling, treatment and rehabilitation of drug dependent persons
  • Training and capacity building of service providers through collaborative efforts of government and NGOs.

It aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals.

National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse

The law requires the government to set up a National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse1 for meeting the expenditure incurred in measures taken for:

  • Combating illicit trafficking
  • Controlling abuse of drugs and substances
  • Identifying, treating and rehabilitating addicts
  • Preventing drug abuse
  • Educating public against drug abuse
  • Supplying drugs where the same is a medical necessity
  • The money for this fund comes from:
  • Central government (after Parliament has made appropriations for it by a law)
  • Sale of any property that was forfeited or seized as illegal property.
  • Grants made by persons or institutions
  • Income from investment of amount credited to the Fund.

Top of page