Observance of International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking Press Release

On the 26 of June 2016, the Turks and Caicos Islands joined the rest of the world

in observing International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking. This is an

annual event that was first publicized and promoted by the United Nations Drug

Program in 1987. Every year since then the United Nations Office on Drugs and

Crime has set aside this day to create awareness of the global epidemic of the

use, abuse and trafficking of illegal drugs. Member States and participating

countries are encouraged to observe the day by highlighting the harmful effects

of alcohol and illicit drug use and building awareness among residents to

ultimately bring about a reduction in the demand for drugs.

Activities have already begun throughout the Islands under the theme “Listen

First” The theme calls for increased support for prevention of drug use and a

focus on the well-being of children and youth, their families and their


Illicit drugs threaten people's health and welfare. In 2007, the World Health

Organization reported that, in terms of overall death rates, death by drugs or

alcohol were estimated at approximately 1.8 million deaths worldwide each

year, and about half of those deaths were the result of injury.

Alcohol and Illicit drug use can lead to chronic alcohol consumption which

negatively affects almost every system in the body and can lead to cancer, liver

disease, heart attacks and brain damage among others. Additionally, alcohol use

has been found to serve as a gate way to the use of other illicit drugs.

Activities to commemorate International Day against Drug Abuse include the


❖ A series of educational sessions in various communities including rap

sessions with young people about the dangers of drugs and information

sessions with guidance counselors and community group leaders, 23 rd –

28 th June

❖ Distribution of anti-drug materials 24 th June

❖ Airing of drug prevention PSA’s and appearances on various radio and

television programs

Your support of these activities is greatly appreciated.

For further information on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit

Trafficking, kindly contact the Department of Mental Health and Substance

Dependence within the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services at:

338-3613 Grand Turk

338-4737 Providenciales

338-6301 South Caicos

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