World Drug Day 2020: History, significance, theme of this day


International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking is celebrated on June 26 every year. The theme for the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2020, Better Knowledge for Better Care emphasises the need to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and how better knowledge will foster greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security. The day is dedicated to eradicating drug abuse and neutralise the systemic challenges which sustain the illegal drug issues.

Drug abuse, however, does not only include consumption of drugs such as cocaine, hallucinogens, cannabis, opiates among others, but also includes prescription medications such as painkillers and sleeping pills.

According to the World Drug Report 2017, released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), about a quarter of a billion people used drugs at least once in 2015.


The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated June 26 as International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in December 1987. The day is also meant to commemorate Lin Zexu’s efforts towards the strategic dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong in China right before the First Opium War on the Chinese Mainland.

Significance of 2020 International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking

The International Day against Drug abuse and Illicit trafficking is used as a day to stimulate a sense of responsibility among people around the world, especially youngsters and teenagers.

Events are organised in schools, colleges, workplaces, public spaces around the world to make people aware of the whole issue, and the dangers of drugs and their use.

The UN with the aid of its anti-drug abuse arm, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) spreads awareness, urges governments to avoid stimulating the Narco economy and deal with the Illicit trafficking of drugs in the disguise of legal pharmaceutical businesses.