On June 26, communities all over the world, including in Liberia, mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Created by the United Nations on December 7, 1987, this day, also called World Drug Day, provides an opportunity to increase awareness about the negative impact of illicit drugs.
U.S. President Joseph R. Biden has made clear that addressing addiction is an urgent priority for his administration and underscored the “heartbreaking toll” that addiction can have on individuals, families, and communities.
The theme of World Drug Day 2021 is “Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives.” The problem of drug abuse and addiction, which can be linked to genetic predisposition, mental health circumstances, and environmental issues, is compounded by misinformation of many kinds. This year’s theme encourages the public to turn to reliable sources, such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to learn more about health risks, drug policies, and evidence-based approaches to preventing and combating addiction.
U.S. Embassy Monrovia salutes Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) Director General Marcus Zehyoue, who assumed the mantle of Director General last year after the sad passing of Marcus Soko. During his tenure so far, Director General Zehyoue has followed in the footsteps of his mentor by leading efforts to reduce illicit drug trafficking in Liberia and to strengthen Liberia’s Drug Law.
The LDEA and its Liberian security partners have made tremendous strides to reduce the trafficking of narcotics in Liberia. The LDEA continues to seize and destroy illicit drugs that enter Liberia through its borders and international ports, reducing the negative impact of these drugs on the lives of Liberians. We encourage the LDEA and Liberian security institutions to continue to work together to combat illicit drug trafficking.
The primary duty of every government is to protect its citizens from threats, which include drug abuse and illicit trafficking. But it is also the responsibility of ordinary citizens to support efforts to educate Liberian youth about the dangers of drug abuse.
The United States is pleased to provide support for this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking commemoration. U.S. Embassy Monrovia’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) office will continue to work closely with the LDEA and other law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Justice. Together, we can reduce drug abuse and illicit trafficking.