On this International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we celebrate the choice that millions of people around the world have made to live healthily, and we applaud the courage shown by those who have stopped using drugs. In doing so, we send a positive message to all people who use or might be tempted to use drugs: “Value yourself... make healthy choices”.
This day is also an occasion to highlight the fact that nearly 200 million people are still consuming illegal drugs. These drugs might have names that sound colourful or enticing, such as crack, pot, junk, crystal meth, and disco biscuits. But these are little more than tickets to a dead end. For those trapped by addiction, treatment is a way out, and the choice to seek treatment is not only courageous, but often life-saving. Those who have not ventured down the path of drug abuse should learn the lesson from those who have, and firmly choose not to.
Making healthy choices also means choosing a lifestyle that has a positive effect on the body and mind, including, for example, participation in sports to improve health and well-being, teach the value of teamwork and discipline, and build self-confidence.
On this day, let us strengthen our collective resolve to live in a society free of drugs, and let us encourage all our fellow human beings to make personal choices to lead healthy lives.
-Mr. Kofi Annan