Unyielding Fight Against Drug Trafficking with a Holistic Approach to Recovery

โ€ฆ๐‘น๐‘ฉ๐‘ท ๐’‹๐’๐’Š๐’๐’” ๐’‡๐’๐’“๐’„๐’†๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’„๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’๐’Ž๐’Ž๐’–๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’Š๐’†๐’” ๐’•๐’ ๐’•๐’‚๐’„๐’Œ๐’๐’† ๐’‚๐’…๐’…๐’Š๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’, ๐’…๐’Š๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’Ž๐’‚๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’“๐’†๐’ƒ๐’–๐’Š๐’๐’…๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’๐’Š๐’—๐’†๐’”

Ngawang Jamphel

The Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) are intensifying efforts to dismantle drug trafficking networks. The total number of drug-related cases registered in 2022 was 761, while the cases saw a drastic rise to 3,179 within January 2023 to November 2023.

While recent operations have resulted in significant seizures, the focus is shifting to a more compassionate approach to address addiction and its stigmas. RBP and the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Unit under the Psychiatry department at Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) are working together to eradicate the stigma of drug and substance use in the country.

Suk Man, a Peer Counselor at the SUD Unit under the Psychiatry department at JDWNRH, stressed the need for community involvement in the recovery process, citing its emotional toll on individuals. Being a reliable social support system during times of need is crucial. Community members can contribute by being aware of available services and referring individuals to the nearest service center.

“Some of the ways community members can support us are by understanding that addiction is a brain disease and not a moral failure. This perspective will help them see people through the lens of compassion, minimizing the stigma related to addiction and encouraging people to seek help,” said Suk Man.

In addition, RBP is requesting the general public to help minimize the drug trafficking issue in the country. “Because of one personโ€™s greed to make easy money from trafficking, he is destroying the lives of many youths,” said the spokesperson of RBP.

To eradicate drug trafficking and minimize drug usage, the RBP has initiated strict checking at highways and southern border gates. Additionally, the SUD Unit is putting effort into educating people by conducting Sunday classes about addiction and its effects on the self, family, community, and the country as a whole.

โ€œDue to very limited manpower, it is very challenging for RBP to control trafficking. The main route for traffickers is from the 699 km Indo-Bhutan border,โ€ he added. He also emphasized that it is not just the responsibility of RBP but every single citizen.

Sangay (name changed), a taxi driver who was once an addict, said that it was very late for him when he realized that he was fully on drugs and couldnโ€™t even remember since when he got into drugs. Since he realized he was all alone away from friends and family begging around for money. Itโ€™s when RBP handed him over to BNCA and later to Serbithang Rehabilitation centre. โ€œI am clean now, leading a normal life,โ€ Sangay spoke out proudly. โ€œI never dreamt of coming back to a sober life, but thank you Bhutan Narcotic Control Authority (BNCA), RBP, and Serbithang Rehabilitation Centre for framing my life again,โ€ he added.

Sangay also said that drugs and alcohol will never be the solution to any problem. It never was, and it never will be.

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