ABOUT 200,000 people die in the world every year because of illicit drugs, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes.
But drugs do not just affect the user, they also cause tremendous hardship and misery to families and loved ones.
The office stated this in its message as the UN marks the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking today.
And the UN World Drug Report 2014 will be presented to member States in Vienna today by the UNODC executive director Yury Fedotov to mark the day.
The report will be launched during a special event of the 57th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
The World Drug Report provides an annual overview of the major developments in drug markets for the various drug categories, ranging from production to trafficking, including development of new routes and modalities, as well as consumption, according to the UN website.
A section of the World Drug Report 2014 provides a global overview of the latest developments with respect to opiates, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines (including "ecstasy") and the health impact of drug use.
Another section addresses the control of precursor chemicals used in the manufacture of illicit drugs.
UNODC's theme for this year's International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking offers a message of hope: "Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable".
According to UNODC, illicit drugs threaten people's health and welfare.
"Drug use disorders, undermines close relationships, damage home lives, including those of children, and can ruin education and employment opportunities," it says.
"Their impact is felt in communities, criminal justice systems and across society.
"Those who suffer from drug use disorders can be supported through evidence-based treatment, and many of those who die, do so from overdoses that are preventable. Children and young people must also be educated on the dangers of illicit drugs."