Celebrating the International World Drug Day

Each year on 26 June, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in coordination with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) and its Alternative Development Programme (AD) partners celebrate the World Drug Day, and at the following week, the National Mobilization Week against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Afghanistan. This year, despite the unprecedented spread of COVID-19, UNODC celebrated the 2020 World Drug Day and National Mobilization Week by organizing awareness raising events at the community level.  Seventy-four drug awareness events were organized for farmers and community elders from 546 AD communities within the target provinces to spread awareness on drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Addressing the drug problem has been 'plagued' by misinformation of many kinds. This year's theme, "Better Knowledge for Better Care," aims at improving the understanding of the world drug problem and at fostering greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security. Discussions were held on the harm and danger associated with the cultivation, production and trafficking of opium poppy. They were encouraged to cultivate high-value licit crops such as saffron, pistachio grapes, almond, apple, vegetable which in the longer run give higher returns and there is no fear of eradication. The negative effects of the illicit opium poppy production on the personal and social lives, such as chronic health problems, infectious disease transmission, insecurity, addiction and family breakdown were discussed in detail at the events. Also, drug awareness leaflets and posters with counter narcotics messages were distributed and reached over 420,000 people, including project beneficiaries. Similarly, the participants were requested to share their learnings from the event with their community members to prevent opium poppy cultivation in their communities.