The article highlights the rising drug problem amid the COVID-19 crisis worldwide. With the collapse in the economic infrastructure and the medical infrastructure is stretched to the limit all over the world illicit drug abuse poses a humungous threat to public health and safety. The high risk of drug abuse worsened by poverty, limited opportunities for education and jobs, stigma and social exclusion, which in turn has helped deepen inequalities and thus is making us move away from achieving SDGs. The article has also highlighted the affected segments of drug abuse in our society. One out of three drug users is a woman, but they only represent one out of five who get treatment. People in prison, minorities, immigrants, and displaced people also face barriers to getting treatment due to the presence of social stigma. According to the World Drug Report 2020, some 35.6 million people suffer from drug disorders. The article suggests health-centered, rights-based, and gender-responsive approaches to drug use and related diseases deliver better public health outcomes.
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