WASHINGTON – Today, the Co-Chairs of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led a bipartisan group of their colleagues in introducing a resolution marking June 26, 2021 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.  This day has been observed by the United Nations since 1987 to raise awareness about the dangers of illegal drugs and the dark economy servicing the narcotics market.  The resolution recognizes the importance of standing with those facing addiction, while shining a light on the drug trade.
“Deadly drugs, many of which flood our nation from beyond our borders, continue to fuel addiction and destroy families across the country.  This resolution reaffirms our commitment to fighting addiction through prevention, education, treatment and recovery.  It also underscores our pledge to shine a light on the illicit drug trade and hold poison peddlers accountable,” Grassley said.
“Rule-of-law democracies are in a clash of civilizations against international kleptocrats, kingpins, and corrupt politicians.  To prevail in that struggle, we must combat drug trafficking and corruption, and the dark economy that lets them thrive,” said Whitehouse.  “We must also pursue prevention and treatment for those walking the long, difficult, and honorable path of addiction recovery.  As Chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, I am glad to introduce this bipartisan resolution to bring attention to these difficult challenges and the work ahead.”
The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control has a long history of working on a bipartisan basis to crack down on illicit drug trafficking globally, while expanding addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates 269 million people worldwide used illicit drugs in 2018, while an estimated 35.6 million people suffered from substance use disorders that year.  According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 92,000 Americans died from drug overdoses between October 2019 and October 2020—a record for any 12-month period.  The National Institute of Drug Abuse projects illicit drugs cost the U.S. $193 billion annually in healthcare costs, crime, and lost productivity.
The full resolution is available here.