On 7 December, 1987, the General Assembly United Nations decided to observe 26 June each year as the International Day Against Drug Abuse. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated that 247 million people used illicit drugs in 2014 and more than 200,000 people have died through drug related causes.
The World is faced with an uphill task to keep up with new threats relating to the drug problem. Almost 650 new psychoactive substances have been reported to the UNODC from 2008 to 2015.
The theme to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse this year is “Listen First - listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.”
The International Day Against Drug Abuse was officially launching on 29 June, 2017 in the presence of the Hon Prime Minister, Hon Pravind Jugnauth and
the Hon Yogida Sawmydanen acting as Minister of Health and Quality of Life.
An impressive march with the participation of some 5000 to 6000 participants comprising secondary schools students from different secondary educational institutions, representatives of NGOs involved in prevention of drug abuse, representatives of Police Force, Fire and Rescue Service, Mauritius Prisons Service, Nursing Staff, representatives of Youth Associations, Municipalities and District Councils was organised. The march started from Traffic Centre of St Pierre accompanied by the Police Band leading to Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI), Moka.