By Jonathan Evert Rayon
Based on the World Drug Report in 2018, 31 million people worldwide suffered from drug use disorders resulting in millions enduring health risks such as hepatitis C and HIV. Drug trafficking is defined by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as illicit trade which involves the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances subject to drug prohibition laws, and is a prevalent issue in Southeast Asia. As discussed at the 7th ASEAN Drug Monitoring Network (ADMN) during 5th-7th March 2019, drug cases in 2018 experienced an increase, with most drug cases taking place in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. The fact that over 90 percent of drug offences were conducted by ASEAN nationals despite serious measures taken by member countries, such as the Philippines’ war on drugs or Indonesia’s potential death penalty, emphasises the realisation of a Drug-Free ASEAN remains a challenge.