Drug Abuse Current Affairs
The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed every year on June 26 across the world to raise awareness of major problem that illicit drugs. The day is also observed as an expression of United Nations’ (UN) determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
The 2018 theme of this day is “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”. It seeks to highlights ncreased incidence of drug abuse in the youth and kids. It aims at increasing support for science-based prevention of drug use and invests more in well-being of kids, youngsters and their families.
The day was officially instituted by UN after UN General Assembly (UNGA) by adopting resolution 42/112 in December 1987. The date was chosen to commemorate Lin Zexu’s (Chinese scholar and official of the Qing dynasty) dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong, just before the First Opium War in China (1839–42).
The day recognizes that despite continued and increased efforts by international community, the world drug problem continues to constitute serious threat to public health, safety and well-being of humanity, in particular young people, and national security and sovereignty of States and that it undermines socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development.
It encourages Commission and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to continue their work on international drug control and urges all Governments to provide fullest possible financial and political support to enable UNODC to continue, expand and strengthen its operational and technical cooperation activities, within its mandates.
The Union government has banned imports of hormone oxytocin to stop its misuse in livestock industry, where it causes hormonal imbalances and shortens the lives of milch animals. The Government has decided to rely on domestic production to satisfy requirements of hormone. It has asked customs officials to step up vigilance against those likely to try and smuggle oxytocin into India.
India had halted retail sales of oxytocin as prescription-only drug in 2014, but failed to curb illegal sales and the volume of imports was unclear. Even, Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) in February 2018 had recommended import ban of oxytocin. It also had recommended that sale be limited to registered government hospitals and clinics and bar code system should be used on all forms of drug to ensure tracking and prevent abuse. For adopting its recommendations, DTAB proposal had proposed amendments to section 10 of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and rule 96 of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
Oxytocin, often called love hormone, is released naturally in human bonding activities such as sex, childbirth and breastfeeding. It is uterine stimulant hormone, prescribed for initiation of uterine contractions and induction of labour in women as well as stimulation of contractions during labour. It is also used to help abort fetus in cases of incomplete abortion or miscarriage, and control bleeding after childbirth. It may be used for breast engorgement.
It is a controversial hormonal injection that is used widely in the dairy industry, agriculture and horticulture. The drug’s abuse in animals shortens their lives and makes them barren sooner. Even its misuse is reported among trafficked children, injected to accelerate puberty among girls. It is also being misused to speed up deliveries for pregnant women in overcrowded government hospitals.