…593 𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒅𝒖𝒂𝒍𝒔 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒇𝒖𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒈𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒍𝒚, 𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒅𝒅𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 2117 𝒊𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒅𝒖𝒂𝒍𝒔 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒂𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒍𝒚 𝒆𝒏𝒈𝒂𝒈𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒐𝒏𝒈𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒈
By Phurpa Wangmo
In a startling revelation, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) have disclosed that a staggering 3179 individuals including 262 drivers are implicated in various drug-related cases from January to November this year. The cases span 19 Dzongkhags across the country, excluding Gasa, marking a concerning surge in illicit activities.
Among the accused, 446 individuals are facing charges related to illegal drug sales, while 161, including 15 drivers, have been convicted for drug trafficking. The situation has prompted a collaborative effort with Indian counterparts, signaling a united front to combat cross-border drug-related challenges.
The substances in question, predominantly marijuana, pharmaceutical drugs, and solvents such as paint thinner and dendrite adhesive, have become the focal point of law enforcement efforts. To fortify public safety, the RBP has implemented stringent measures, including random vehicle testing, the deployment of trained narcotic-detecting dogs, and comprehensive room inspections in hotels.
Addressing the concerning issue among students, the RBP is ensuring that those caught in drug-related cases receive support through the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) program and counseling. Respected schools have appointed dedicated counselors to guide and assist affected students.
An official from BBP said that the root causes of drug abuse among individuals involve factors such as dropping out of school, unemployment, broken family, and influence from peers.
In an effort to bolster public safety and address the escalating concerns surrounding drug-related issues, law enforcement has instituted a series of measures. These include the introduction of random vehicle testing, the deployment of highly-trained narcotic-detecting dogs, and the initiation of room inspections in hotels and construction sites.
As of the present year, the demographic of substance abusers encompasses a broad age spectrum. Disturbingly, individuals as young as 13 years old have been identified engaging in such activities. On the other end of the spectrum, the oldest individual implicated in substance abuse is 54 years old.
In a bid to deter illegal transportation of narcotic drugs, strict penalties have been outlined. The person in charge of any consignment containing controlled drugs and substances in their conveyance faces fines equivalent to the minimum wage for one year and the confiscation of goods for a first-time offense. A second offense warrants a minimum wage rate for two years, license suspension, and drug seizure. A third offense escalates to a fourth-degree felony, carrying a three to five-year prison term, non-bailable status, driving license cancellation, and drug seizure.
In the realm of drug rehabilitation, a notable 593 individuals have successfully undergone treatment. Presently, an additional 2117 individuals are actively engaged in ongoing treatment and counseling, underscoring the commitment to addressing the challenges posed by drug-related issues in the community. This concerted effort seeks not only to rehabilitate those affected but also to provide comprehensive support to ensure a successful and lasting recovery for all individuals involved.
The RBP request general public to actively collaborate and report any suspicious drug-related activities through the hotline 113, emphasizing the importance of community involvement in combating this escalating crisis.