International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, 26 June

Every year on June 26th, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking raises awareness about drug abuse and the negative repercussions of illicit trafficking.

According to the most recent World Drug Report, 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug abuse disorders. The number of opioid users is 53 million. In 2017, about 585,000 people died from drug use. Opioids caused two-thirds of these deaths.

Also, in 2017, 11 million around the world injected drugs. About 1.4 million of these people live with HIV as a result. About 5.6 million of them have hepatitis C. Sadly, the severity and complexity of the world drug situation are only getting worse. Prevention and treatment measures across the globe continue to fall short. Only one in 7 people with drug use disorders get the treatment they need.

Illicit trafficking of drugs is also a huge problem throughout the world. This is due to the growing market for illicit drugs in East Africa and the entire African continent. In addition, frequent international flights, inadequate trafficking controls, and corruption amongst customs officers only compound the problem of illicit trafficking.

As drug abuse and illicit trafficking become more prevalent, this day becomes more important.

HOW TO OBSERVE Governments, organizations, and individuals observe this day with social media campaigns, rallies, and special programs. Also on this day, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) publishes its annual World Drug Report.

To participate:

Educate your children and other young people about the dangers of drugs.

Watch a documentary about the opioid epidemic, such as Dr. Feelgood and Understanding the Opioid Epidemic.

Donate to an organization that raises awareness of addiction, including Angels at Risk, Shatterproof, and Natural High.

If you have overcome drug addiction, share your stories with others.

Reach out to those in your community who are affected by drug addiction.

Spread awareness for this day on social media with #InternationalDayAgainstDrugAbuseAndIllicitTrafficking


On June 26th, 1987, the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking adopted two important texts about drug abuse and illicit trafficking. The Conference recommended a day to observe the importance of the battle against drugs. They chose June 26th as the date commemorating the dismantling of the opium trade in Guangdong in 1839.

Thus, the first official International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was held on June 26th, 1989.

With Agency Report