Shopkeepers sensitized on substance abuse in Trongsa
Sensitization workshop cum meeting on substance abuse and prevention for the micro license holders and the owners of entertainment centres of Bumthang and Trongsa organized by Bhutan Narcotic Control Authority in collaboration with Royal Bhutan Police at Sherubling Centre School last Wednesday.
The Director –General for BNCA Phuntsho Wangdi, said, “The importance of sensitization and substance use and prevention is important because of substances, many problems are faced within the family, friends and in the society and over all it has became a main concern for the country.”
He mentioned that in Thimphu while checking BNCA found out about 500 Pan Shops selling controlled substances and even garments shops and grocery shops selling the same. Whereas in Trongsa not a single shop was found selling the controlled substances and may be due to small community and the shopkeepers might have received the information before checking.
“Because of increase in the supply of controlled substances, the numbers of suppliers and bars are increasing daily in the country,” he said. He also added that “You are allowed to spoil yourself but it is important to stop spoiling others.”
“The person who is addicted to any substances or alcholic the person will not have any peace in the society and in his own mind. I am much concern about the people, it is better to brek our hands and legs insteated of becoming addicted to substances,” he said.
The substances used most prominently in the country are marijuana, heroin and brown sugar. As of now no record of brown sugar has been detected in Trongsa but 5% of class 8-9 student’s drink daily and 23% of boys and girls use tobaco.
Lt.Col Sonam Goenzing, Superintendent of Police from Narcotic Drugs said, they came to exchange and share experience to Trongsa about how many people are caught and punished in the country so far according to the existing laws..
First drug case was detected on 26th June 1989 and two men were arrested. Om 22nd May 2011 first brown sugar case was reported.
Out of the 1452 cases of arrests made so far, the highest number of 473 is from Chhukha Dzongkhag followed by 395 arrested from Thimphu. The gender and age wise arrested below the age of 18 years is 101 which is about 6.96% and from 18-24 years is 711 which is about 8.97%. Out of 1452, 210 were students and 20 were tourist guide.
Lt.Col also said, “Bhumthang and Trongsa is the most famous holy place and least number of people arrested before it is too late it is very important to give sensitization to the people.”
Sonam Jamtsho (councilor), BNCA said, “We are trying to stop demand if we stop demand obtusely supplier will stop. Our ways is to give advice and treatment to the addicted people.”
There are two treatment centres in Bhutan, one at Satsham chorten in Paro and another in Serbithang in Thimphu. In Paro only the men are treated and in Serbithang both sexes are treated. Drop-In centre for Drugs & alcohol dependence provides motivation, counseling and referral service to the addicted persons, reaches out and provides early intervention, and provides a place to conduct self help group meetings such as narcotics anonymous and alcohol anonymous.
At Trongsa hospital doctors are also trained by BNCA to give detoxification. “If the addicted people are treated in hospital the treatment is free and if they treat at Drop-in Centre, in Paro , then a sum of Nu. 5000 will be charged and in Thimphu it is Nu. 3000 for a month and the duration is for three month,” said Sonam Jamtsho.
He also said, “We are trying to make free of substances because usually the substances are made in other countries and we the Bhutanese are spending unesserily importing unwanted substances. If we use that money in an effictive way it will be helpful to our country and the people.”