The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) leads the international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society and especially to young people. The goal of the campaign, which runs from 2007 to 2009, is to inspire people and mobilize support for drug control.
World Drug Report 2009 (interactive Presentation)
Executive Summary (Interactive Presentation)
The international campaign "Do drugs control your life? Your life. Your community. No place for drugs" communicates that the destructive effects of illicit drugs concern us all. Their use harms individuals, families and society at large. Drugs control the body and mind of individual consumers, the drug crop and drug cartels control farmers, trafficking and crime control communities.
Teenagers and young adults are particularly vulnerable to using illicit drugs. The prevalence of drug use among young people is more than twice as high as that among the general population. At this age, peer pressure to experiment with illicit drugs can be strong and self-esteem is often low. Also, those who take drugs tend to be either misinformed or insufficiently aware of the health risks involved.
Health comes first
The UNODC campaign reaches out to young people, who often talk about the "highs" induced by illicit drugs but may not be aware of the many "lows". Illicit drug use is a concern because it poses a threat to their health. Negative effects vary depending on the type of drug consumed, the doses taken and the frequency of use. All illicit drugs have immediate physical effects, but they can also severely hinder psychological and emotional development, especially among young people.
Leading a healthy lifestyle requires making choices that are respectful of body and mind. To make these choices, young people need guidance from role models and need to get the facts about drug use. The international campaign provides young people and others with tools to educate themselves about the health risks associated with illicit drug use.
Get the facts about drugs
The UNODC campaign focuses only on drugs under international control. These are drugs Member States have decided to limit exclusively to medical and scientific purposes, given the adverse effects their abuse and trafficking have on health and society. These illicit drugs include amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), coca/cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, opiates, and sedative hypnotics.