World Drug Day: Secretary-General's message and public service announcement for youth


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26 June 2009 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for help for people suffering from drug addiction, with a further call to reduce the number of dangerous places where drugs are produced, trafficked and consumed.

In his message on International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking (World Drug Day), released today, the Secretary-General said that "Drug abuse can be prevented, treated and controlled. I urge Member States to upgrade their preventive interventions and integrate drug treatment into public health programmes. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime continue to work with Governments and other partners to scale up drug treatment worldwide".

UNODC, as part of its world drug campaign, today premieres a new public service announcement (PSA) which follows four young people as their health deteriorates and they are transformed by the ravages of drug use.

The PSA calls on young people, who are particularly vulnerable to drug use, to face the truth about drugs. The prevalence of drug use among young people is more than twice as high as that among the general population. Peer pressure to experiment with illicit drugs can be strong, and self-esteem is often low. Also, those who take illicit drugs tend to be either misinformed or insufficiently aware of the health risks involved.

Young people tend to focus on the "highs" and not the "lows" of drug use. While some of the physical effects of drugs might sound good, those pleasant feelings do not last long. Many people become depressed and lonely after taking drugs, and begin to feel ill. Common signs of drug use are confusion, red eyes, excessive sweating and disregard for one's physical appearance.

The UNODC video spot shows how four young men and women change with drug use. Every score, every needle, every pill, every sleepless night gradually becomes evident. This video spot and the world drug campaign for which it was produced encourage young people to protect their health from drugs.

Video still To get the facts and watch the PSA, please visit

Related information:

Secretary General's World Drug Day Message