International Day Against Drug Abuse is a United Nations International Day observed as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. Since 1989, it has been observed annually on 26 June every year.
This year, the theme is “Health for Justice, Justice for Health”. The aim, therefore, is to highlight 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.
How does drug abuse affect young people?
It’s hard to tell what the effects of taking drugs are. It all depends on who’s taking them, the person’s state of mind, which drug(s) they’re taking, what they’re mixing it with and where it’s being taken. However, here are some effects that drugs can have on young people:
- Impaired judgement
- Changes in behaviour
- Loss of self-control
- Mental health problems
- Getting into debt
Hope and Recovery
Drug abuse and drug addiction can often feel overwhelming. However, it’s important to understand that recovery is possible, even though every day may feel like a battle. There are many people who have struggled with drug addiction and recovered – this shows there is hope. Everyone’s path to recovery may look different though, and it is likely to be a process of change, including changes in many parts of your life, that will lead to reconnecting with yourself.
Tips if someone is struggling with drug use
Helping a loved one dealing with drug abuse isn’t easy, and there’s no magic formula that will get your loved one to stop using. However, here are some suggestions on how to help a loved one get treatment for their drug addiction;
- Speak openly about their/your drug addiction
- Provide a safe place to talk about their addiction
- Listen to the person struggling with an addiction
- Research and become knowledgeable on addiction
- Encourage them to get help
- Make an appointment with your/their GP
- Contact your local drug services to see how they can support you in the best possible way
- Research what private drug treatments are available – some of these are expensive, so you may want to contact Charities
- Recommend a detox programme if necessary
- Explore rehabilitation.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with an addiction to drugs and this is contributing to thoughts of suicide, then you can contact HOPELINEUK for advice and support.
There are many organisations which offer support for those struggling with an addiction to drugs.
Places to turn for help:
- Addaction – Offer a range of services and support to adults and young people with alcohol or drug addiction – firstname.lastname@example.org – addaction.org.uk
- UK Addiction Treatment Centres – Links to recovery centres in your local area – ukat.co.uk/gambling-addiction/
- Addiction Helper – Local addiction support helpline, live chat and access to treatment in your area – 0800 024 1455 / 0203 131 8336, addictionhelper.com
- FRANK – Drug Support – Helpline: 0300 123 6600 (24/7) Text: 82111, talktofrank.com
- Narcotics Anonymous – Meetings for recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean – Helpline: 0300 999 1212, http://www.ukna.org
- NHS – Resources for drug addiction – https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/drug-addiction-getting-help/
Support for concerned others:
- Turning Point – Health Services for people with complex needs including those affected by substance misuse – Phone: 020 7481 7600 email@example.com, turning-point.co.uk
- Family Lives – Family Lives offers a confidential and free* helpline service for families in England and Wales (previously known as Parentline). – Helpline: 0808 800 2222, familylives.org.uk
- The Mix – Free information and support for under 25s in the UK – Helpline: 0808 808 4994 Text Number: 85258, themix.org.uk
- Families Anonymous -Support for family and friends of those individuals with substance addiction – http://famanon.org.uk/
- FRANK – Confidential advice for family and friends of those who suffer with addiction – Helpline: 0300 123 6600 (24/7) Text: 82111, talktofrank.com