Each year around 210 million people worldwide use prohibited narcotic substances and around 200 000 of them die consequently. Still, the challenges related to drug use could be counteracted.

This year the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26 June) highlighted the role the communities could play in combating drugs. “Prevention starts in the community, by taking care of the vulnerable individuals and involves families, teachers, youth leaders, etc.”, Yuri Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said.

There is no universal solution for coping with the drugs problem. There is a unique set of problems for each community. That is why actions are needed which have been developed with the help of all the spheres of society- from the families and the schools to the local health care providers and professionals working in the sphere of law enforcement.

“The governments are responsible for counteracting trafficking and drug abuse, but the communities could also be instrumental to this to a great extent”, said the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-moon in connection with the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking. The media could raise the awareness of the hazards of drug use.”

“Only by working together can we create a healthier and more secure world which is not tormented by the drug – related crime and violence and when people feel vulnerable, they should have faith in the future”, added Mr Fedotov.

UNODC is launching a campaign aimed at raising public awareness about the fact that the illicit drugs are the greatest challenge for the community as a whole and especially for the young people.

The campaign this year is aimed at mobilizing support and inspiring people to undertake actions against drug abuse.