“I’ve seen the needle and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie’s like a settin’ sun.”
(Neil Young, The Needle and the Damage Done)
Every year, more than 200 million people use illicit drugs. Of these, more than 200 000 die. Every year. Many many more end up in a downward spiral of crime and abuse, with young people today being exposed to drugs earlier than ever before.
The illegal drug trade feeding this global cancer causes thousands more deaths annually, directly through gang violence and indirectly as a result of socio-economic instability.
Today is International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The theme this year is “Global Action for Healthy Communities without Drugs”.
I cannot add anything new to the drug debate without merely repeating what has been said many times over by people who are closer to the problem and who have a better understanding of it. The issues feeding this social disease – peer pressure, glamorising of drug use, targeting of people on the fringes of the community, social insecurities – can only be addressed at community level, by each and every one of us.
This is not a hypothetical problem. In all likelihood, you know someone who is or has been affected by drugs, directly or indirectly. You can do something about it.