United Nations Secretary-General: Message on the
International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit
YORK, 21 June (UN Headquarters) -- Taking drugs or
not is about making choices -- informed choices.
Yet too many people in the world are badly
informed about the potentially devastating effects
of drugs. That is why we need to work for better
education and greater awareness to prevent drug
abuse. We need more consistent leadership from
Governments. We need better examples from role
models whose drug use damages more people than
need to spread the understanding that drugs are
illegal because they are a problem; not a problem
because they are illegal. Drugs cause health and
mental problems. When addictive, they can spell
misery for users and those close to them. When
taken intravenously, they can spread deadly
disease -- especially HIV/AIDS. When they wreak
their devastation, they respect no boundaries of
income, race, occupation or geography.
efforts must focus especially on young people --
through outreach, peer-to-peer networks, and using
opportunities such as sport to keep young people
active, healthy, and confident. That also means
engaging and encouraging parents and teachers to
play their part in full.
efforts also require working to reduce supply --
through law enforcement, and through working with
the producing countries to give farmers
sustainable alternatives to growing illicit crops.
In this way, we must strive to tackle poverty and
drug supply at the same time.
International Day Against Drug Abuse is a reminder
to all of us to play our part. The United Nations
is here to assist you in this fight. Let us arm
people with the information they need to say no to
Kofi A. Annan