World Drug Day: a call to action

World Drug Day 2024

World Drug Day, observed on June 26 each year, is an important day for raising awareness of the global problem of drug abuse.

Led by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), World Drug Day serves as a reminder of the importance of collaboration in the fight against drug misuse, and how we can effectively support people impacted by drug abuse worldwide.

As a drug testing laboratory, we have seen first-hand the effects of drug misuse. In this blog, we look at why World Drug Day is important, how drug abuse affects the body, and how to spot the signs of a person who may be misusing drugs.

The importance of World Drug Day

World Drug Day is a global observance aimed at fostering a better understanding of the drug problem and promoting a society free of substance abuse.

The day itself emphasizes a need for education, preventative measures, and effective treatment strategies to support those affected by drug abuse.

It also encourages individuals, communities and nations to take action to eliminate the threat posed by drug abuse.

The theme for this year’s World Drug Day is, ‘People first: stop stigma and discrimination, strengthen prevention’. This theme highlights the importance of focusing on the human aspect of drug addiction, and reducing the stigma and discrimination that can often discourage drug users from seeking help when they need it.

What do drugs do to the body?

The impact of drugs on the body can be profound and varied.

Different substances affect different people in different ways, with a variety of factors impacting how a drug will make you feel. Factors that can impact how your body reacts to a drug include:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Metabolism
  • The type of drug consumed
  • Quantities/dosage consumed
  • Frequency of use
  • How the drug is taken (swallowed, injected, snorted etc)
  • Your mental state
  • Whether any other substances have been used (e.g. combining drugs with alcohol)

If a drug has been legally prescribed by a medical professional to treat a specific condition, factors such as your age, sex, weight, further medications you may be taking, and other factors will usually have been considered before the drugs are prescribed. This means that you can take them as prescribed and are less likely to experience any short- or long-term symptoms or side effects.

However, misusing drugs that have been prescribed legally, or purchasing street drugs illegally can pose a serious risk to your health.

Additionally, unscrupulous manufacturers and street dealers will often add a variety of substances to the drug they are selling to bulk it out. This means that many people who take illegal drugs end up taking substances that they had no intention of taking.

Common effects of drug abuse include:

  • Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, mood swings and in severe cases, psychosis
  • Heart problems such as irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Respiratory problems caused by smoking/inhaling drugs, causing damage to the lungs. In severe cases, this can lead to bronchitis, emphysema and even lung cancer
  • Nausea, vomiting, liver damage and gastrointestinal issues
  • Weakened immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections and diseases

Drug abuse can also impact personal relationships, work, and a person’s overall quality of life.

How to spot the signs of a person misusing drugs

Recognizing the signs of drug misuse is crucial for early intervention and support.

Some common indicators of drug misuse include:

  • Behavioral changes – increased secrecy, unexplained absences from work or school, a drop in performance at work or school, legal troubles, or sudden change in social circles
  • Physical symptoms – bloodshot eyes, sudden weight gain or loss, neglecting personal hygiene, unusual body odors, or poor physical coordination
  • Psychological symptoms – sudden mood swings, irritability, paranoia, lack of motivation, unexplained depression or anxiety
  • Financial issues – unusual requests for money, stealing, or selling personal belongings

It is important to remember that even if a person is exhibiting any of these signs, this does not necessarily mean they have been misusing drugs.

If you recognize any of these signs, approach the situation with care and compassion, rather than being accusatory.

Where can I buy a drug test?

Whether you have concerns about a loved one misusing drugs, or simply want a test for other personal reasons, AlphaBiolabs can help.

We offer a range of peace of mind, home drug tests to suit a variety of needs, including:

It’s easy to order your peace of mind, at-home test online now. Alternatively, call our friendly and discreet Customer Services team on 727-325-2902, email or visit our Learning Center for further information.

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