Published On: Mon, Jun 25th, 2018

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Drug AbuseGreat Bay — St. Maarten — The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a United Nations International Day against drug abuse and the illegal drug trade. The United Nations’ (UN) International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking falls on June 26 each year to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to a society.

What Do People Do?The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has, over the years, been actively involved in launching campaigns to mobilize support for drug control. The UNODC often teams up with other organizations and encourages people in societies to actively take part in these campaigns.
Governments, NG Organizations and individuals in many countries have also actively participated in promotional events and larger scale activities, such as public rallies and mass media involvement, to promote the awareness of dangers associated with illicit drugs.

Drug Trafficking Caribbean, St. Maarten
The geographical position of the Caribbean region serves as the main driver for illegal activities such as drug- and human trafficking.

Illicit drugs are cited by CARICOM as one of the greatest threats to the national security of its 15 member states.

Research has found that the drug trade is often associated with other criminal activities such as the trafficking of persons and violent crimes.
Years ago, a 175 page report prepared by the Dutch Ministry of Justice on organized crime in St. Maarten mentioned that St. Maarten serves as a distribution center for the international drug trade and the financing of terrorist activities in countries abroad.
Dated June 2007, the report was prepared by the Justice Ministry’s Academic and Research Documentation Centre (WODC).

St. Maarten substance abuse assistance
In St. Maarten, the usage of marijuana, crack cocaine and alcohol are the three main addictions.
Drug rehabilitation (often called drug rehab or just rehab) is a term for the medical and/or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psycho-active substances such as alcohol, prescription and street drugs such as cocaine, crack-cocaine or amphetamines. The general idea is to enable the client to cease substance abuse, in order to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused, especially by extreme abuse. Treatment includes medication for depression or other disorders, counseling by experts and sharing of experience with other addicts. Sometimes meditation and spiritual wisdom can be used in the treatment process.

In St. Maarten, the Turning Point Foundation is known to provide alcohol and drug abusers a rehabilitation plan to quit their addiction. Court-mandated clients and voluntary-clients can follow an inpatient program and reside temporarily at the facility.

Substance abuse and SDGs
Sustainable development goals (SDGs) nr. 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and one related target (SDG 3.5) aim to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.
Psychoactive substance use (including alcohol and illicit drugs) is an important risk factor for poor health and this applies globally. The intoxicating effects of psychoactive substances, or their toxic effects on organs and tissues, or the mode of their administration, are also contributing factors to the development of diseases, injuries and other health conditions.
Target 3.8 of SDG goal 3 entails achieving universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

The United Nations has called on all countries to honor their commitments to address the scourge and to ensure that steps to do so are consistent with human rights and promote equality, peace, security and sustainable development.

Once viewed as marginally important for development of a country, drugs and crime are now viewed as a disturbing obstruction to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly [Sustainable Development] Goal 3 on health and Goal 16 on peaceful societies.

St. Maarten’s Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) is the designated focal point for promoting awareness regarding the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. For more information, interested persons may reach out to the program manager for SDGs, Drs. Loekie Morales, on telephone number + 1 721 5271223 to know more about how to work together to realize the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on Sint Maarten.