New Delhi, India/June 27, 2019: Observing the International Day against Drug Use and Illicit Trafficking on June 26, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia joined governments, institutions, citizens and the UN family in calling for a health and human rights-based response to the world drug problem--in line with this year's theme, "Health for Justice, Justice for Health."

This year's theme highlights that justice and health are two sides of the same coin when it comes to addressing drug problems. Effective responses to the world drug problem require inclusive and accountable institutions of criminal justice, health and social services to work hand in hand to provide integrated solutions, in line with the international drug control conventions, human rights obligations and the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNODC also released the World Drug Report 2019, which indicates the severity and complexity of the drug situation around the world.

Globally, some 35 million people are estimated to suffer from drug use disorders and who require treatment services, according to the World Drug Report 2019. The Report also estimates the number of opioid users at 53 million, up 56 per cent from previous estimates, and that opioids are responsible for two thirds of the 585,000 people who died as a result of drug use in 2017. Globally, 11 million people injected drugs in 2017, of whom 1.4 million live with HIV and 5.6 million with hepatitis C.

"The findings of this year's World Drug Report fill in and further complicate the global picture of drug challenges, underscoring the need for broader international cooperation to advance balanced and integrated health and criminal justice responses to supply and demand," said Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director.

Read our special feature on the International Day against Drug Use and Illicit Trafficking here