Jun 27, 2018 09:27 UTC

The International Conference on Drug Abuse and Trafficking, held on June 17-26, 1987 in Vienna, aimed at expressing the political will of nations to combat the illicit drug phenomenon, in which the document C.M.O was approved by the participating countries.

This document identifies the policy of comprehensive drug control efforts by member states and obligates them to pursue global measures to combat drug trafficking decisively.

The document was set up in four chapters comprising more than 35 actions such as assessing consumption, training prevention, the role of media in returning drug addicts to the community and their treatment, destroying illegal poppy fields, destroying major drug trafficking networks, legal cooperation of countries, and so on. The document was unanimously approved by the participants on June 26, and the date was announced as the international anti-drug campaign to inform people about the evil effects of drugs. In this regard, each year, a special motto is also considered for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This year's motto is “Listen first. Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.” We have prepared a special program on June 26. Please stay tuned.

The drug use and abuse may be as old as human being. What is certain is that this phenomenon has existed in all countries from the distant past and its lethal effects have become evident to all. But what turns it today into a threat to national and international security and a factor affecting the mental, physical and moral health of humans, is the increased production, widespread international smuggling and abuse.

Drug trafficking, after the arms and oil trade, is the third most lucrative business in the world. According to statistics released in the 2017 Global Drug Report, it has more than 290 million customers and an annual turnover of hundreds of billions. It is estimated that one third to one fifth of the revenue of organized international criminal gangs around the world in 2014 was obtained through the sale of drugs. Today, this trade has expanded through virtual networks and has provided consumers with an opportunity to anonymously buy drugs through a digital currency payment. As per the results of a research, drug transactions had an annual increase of 50% in their income from September 2013 to January 2016. Drug buyers are mainly consumers of cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, toxic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Some countries are reluctantly involved with the problems caused by this trade. The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of these countries because it borders with Afghanistan, the world's largest producer of drugs. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC reports that 53% of the total drugs produced in Afghanistan are smuggled to other countries through Iran, 33% through Pakistan, and 15% through Central Asia, in particular Tajikistan. Thus, about 5000 tons of narcotics are imported annually from smugglers from the eastern borders of Iran. Although the Iranian government has been fighting drug traffickers over the past years, and more than 37,000 people have been martyred in fighting drug trafficking, Iran is still involved in this ominous phenomenon.

The huge profit of drug trading has lured many establishments and gangs to engage in this deadly business. In addition to economic profits, this trade is used as a tool against the nations because of its destructive and crippling power.

According to the latest report released by UNODC, opium is the source of the most harmful substances and is the cause of 70% of negative effects on the health of drug consumers across the world. According to the report, hepatitis C is the most damaging factor among 12 million drug addicts who consume it via injection.

 1.6 million people (1/8 of 12 million) are infected with HIV, and more than half of them are infected with hepatitis C, while 1.3 million suffer from both diseases. Totally, 222,000 drug users die from hepatitis C every year, three times more than HIV-infected people.

Today, there are few countries where the phenomenon of narcotics and addiction is not the most important concern or one of the most important social problems. Every year, huge sums of money are spent on combating the problem of drug addiction, but the number of drug trafficking gangs and addicts continues to rise.

The problem of drug addiction is a devastating calamity that has caught human societies in its deadly clutches. This material destroys the thinking power, innovation, perseverance and activity in humans, in particular the youths, and destroys any moral and religious beliefs.

Evidence suggests that teenagers are among the most vulnerable strata against drug consumption. Figures indicate that in most countries, the age of starting addiction is between the ages 16-20. The results of most researches at different levels and among various strata and age groups indicate that drug abuse is on the rise among adolescents and young people. Drug abuse among young people increases the risks of injury and death through interpersonal violence, road accidents, unbridled sexual relations, diseases such as AIDS and educational problems.

Although it seems almost impossible to eradicate the drug problem, special measures can be taken to reduce its threats in society. According to the experts, the hard fight cannot work alone, and the best way to combat this destructive phenomenon is to promote soft war and enhance the culture of society through awakening people on the evil consequences of this lethal phenomenon. In view of this one of the effective ways to prevent addiction is to raise awareness of families; as one of the main causes of drug addiction, especially among the youths, is family breakup and lack of supervision. Parents should know that no matter how decent and righteous their child is, he/she is prone to deviation and misdeeds due to curiosity. For this reason, this year's motto for campaign against addiction is “Listen first. Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.”  This puts emphasis on the importance of teenagers and youths, because they are the active and dynamic power of the community and their addiction will have destructive and irreparable effects on the society and its future.

One of the main factors preventing drug abuse among teenagers and youth is religious beliefs. Many studies have shown that people with high religiosity have better compatibility with stressful situations, are less victimized by negative emotions and depression, are less susceptible to anxiety, avoid psychotropic substances and alcohol, and have higher social support. They have a better life expectancy than normal people because of the adoption of healthy ways.

Thus, it must be said that although the drug threat is very big, it should never be ignored and we should never be horrified by it. The drug abuse might not be stopped in societies overnight, but we must not forget that for every success we should make effort. The fact of the matter is that the drug cartels are being supported by big powers and tycoons in the so-called advanced and developed countries, especially the United States of America which is the main source of any destruction and calamity on planet earth.

FK/RM/ME

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