World Drug Day

Supporting those who need it this World Drug Day

World Drug Day, or International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, takes place on 26th June 2023.

It’s a global event organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and has been running since 1987.

Designed to strengthen action and cooperation with the objective of an international society free from drug abuse, UNODC wants to highlight that the stigma and discrimination associated with drug misuse can prevent individuals from getting the help they need.

Instead, the organisation wants the world to take a more people-centred approach, focusing on human rights and compassion.

The theme for this year’s World Drug Day is ‘People first: stop stigma and discrimination, strengthen prevention.’ The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of treating drug users with compassion and respect and without judgement, as well as prioritising prevention and offering alternatives to punishment.

Drug misuse in Ireland

26.4% of Irish adults aged 15 and above have admitted to using an illegal drug in their lifetime. What’s more, another study found that a wider range of drugs is now being used across Ireland with an increase in the number of people using stimulants.

The same study found that cocaine use has increased across all age groups in Ireland. Drug use is also most common among 15–24-year-olds with just under one fifth admitting they have used drugs in the last year.

The signs and symptoms of substance misuse

As a leading drug and alcohol testing laboratory, we understand all too well the impact that substance misuse can have on people’s day-to-day lives and these rising drug use statistics highlight a growing problem in Ireland.

For this reason, it is important that people can spot the signs of substance misuse, to get a friend, colleague, or family member the help they need.

The most common signs of a person misusing drugs include:

  • Changes in physical appearance such as sudden weight loss or gain, or a lack of personal hygiene
  • Changes in behaviour including wanting more privacy
  • Difficulties at work including declining performance and attendance
  • A lack of energy
  • Defensive behaviour when asked about substance use
  • Changes in appetite
  • Spending more money than usual or asking to borrow more money

If you are worried about someone you know and you think they might be misusing substances, it is important to approach the conversation calmly and emphasise that you simply want to support them in getting the help they need.

Where can I buy a drug test?

AlphaBiolabs is one of Ireland’s leading providers of laboratory testing services for members of the public, the legal profession, and businesses.

Our ISO 17025-accredited laboratory can test a variety of samples for the presence of drugs and their metabolites, including urine, oral fluid, hair, and nails. 

Here are a few examples of who might need a drug test:

To discuss your drug testing requirements or to request a quote, call our Customer Services team on 01 402 9466 or email

Drug testing from AlphaBiolabs

Explore our drug testing services for members of the public, the legal profession and businesses.