25 June 2003

UNODC Launches "Let's Talk about Drugs…" Campaign on 26 June, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

VIENNA, 25 June (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a global campaign on the theme "Let's talk about drugs…" on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which is celebrated every year on 26 June. The campaign aims to encourage parents, relatives, teachers and peers to discuss the range of issues surrounding substance abuse with children and young people.

Children who learn about the risks of drug abuse at home are less likely to use drugs than those who do not. Similarly, talking about drugs and discussing problems in the school setting can help young people make healthy choices. Creating the right conditions for young people to discuss drugs in an informative way, among peers, can be very effective in passing on positive health messages and preventing drug abuse.

"We often hesitate to talk to our children about drugs and substance abuse, leaving them vulnerable to ill-informed or, worse, deliberately misleading information," said Antonio Maria Costa, UNODC Executive Director. "Parents and adults who care for children and young people must learn to bring up the subject of substance abuse at the right time. Drug abuse is NOT an acceptable or, indeed, popular part of young people's lives."

To support this year's campaign, UNODC has produced thirty- and sixty-second radio spots in seven languages for unrestricted use by broadcasters. The spots are available in MP3 format and can be downloaded from the Internet at www.unodc.org. UNODC has also produced a new series of fact sheets, which provide guidelines on talking about drugs in the family, in the school and among peers.

With the help of children, UNODC has put out a leaflet entitled "Ten Questions Kids Have About Drugs," answering their questions in an open and non-threatening way. UNODC is also releasing the annual report on Global Illicit Drug Trends 2003 to mark 26 June. The campaign material, including a poster and a logo, is available in several languages and can be viewed on the UNODC web site under the "Let's talk about drugs" link. Copies can be requested from:

External Relations Unit
Vienna International Centre
Wagramer Strasse 5
A-1220 Vienna, Austria
Fax: (43-1) 26060-5931

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June marks the signature of the declaration adopted in 1987 at the International Conference against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The day draws attention to the global illicit drug problem and promotes drug awareness worldwide.

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