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Bumthang’s drop-in centre branded as disgraceful

Nov 26, 2012

There is a slow decline in the number of people coming in for recovery from drugs and alcohol related addiction in Bumthang’s drop-in centre. It may seemingly appear that there is a decline in the number of people encountering addiction but that hardly is the case.

People have stopped coming for help because of the social stigma attached to the drop-in centres, according to centre’s manager. He says most people think the drop-in center is a bad place as it houses many “addicts”.

The drop-in centre sees just about 10 regular visitors these days.

The centre’s manager, Loday Zangpo, said there are many people who are caught in vice-like grip of addiction in Bumthang. He said they refuse to come and ask for help because they fear stigmatisation.

Bhutan Narcotics Control Agency 2009’s survey found out that Bumthang has the fourth highest addiction cases in the country.

Loday Zangpo said youth battling addiction think they are neglected by the society and rejected by the community. He said if the community shuns the centre, there is nowhere else they can go for help. “I would like to request the parents, teacher and community to help them encourage visit the centre and not stigmatise it so that we can help as many people battling with the disease,” he said.

Those who visit drop-in centre regularly said they can keep their mind off the disease when they are in the centre.

“Earlier I was into drinking but after I heard about this place and started coming here I could control my urge to drink,” said one of the recovering addicts.

Another recovering addict said the drop-in centre is not a bad place.

“These people are not bad people it is just that they are little sick, they come here for the recovery. Never consider these people as bad people,” said the centre’s councillor, Lham Dorji. He said the centre instead provides treatment and support for such cases.

Bumthang’s drop-in centre is located at the centre of Chamkhar town. The visiting hours for the drop in centre are between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The drop-in centre helps people suffering from addiction through counselling and educative sessions. The centre also has different indoor activities such as games, music and computer education to help them.

The Nazhoen Pelri drop-in centre was established in Bumthang in 2010.









2 Comments for “Bumthang’s drop-in centre branded as disgraceful”

  1. come on we r nt animal……..we r human……….yes………its rite…many people think that person who is going r bad one …so plz every1 think tjis type of notion…………

    • Thinley Tobgay

      One hand can’t make a clap, so from the both side, Drop in center as well as the community should work together to eradicate discrimination. And of course media can play important role in order to raise awarness. Last year i visited Bumthang DIC and came to know that media lack their support towards this kind of issue.

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