English | Dzongkha Sunday, April 11, 2021

Most drug abusers lack legal knowledge: Police

Sep 29, 2010

Substance abuse has always been an issue. It is a growing issue mostly among the youth and it will remain an issue as long as there’s not enough parental guidance and legal education. From 99 arrested in drug related cases five years ago, police last year arrested 589. This is not it. The number of women using drugs has also risen from 2 in 2004 to 22 in 2009. Police say most users lack legal knowledge.

Our reporter, Deki Choden Dorji, visited the Thimphu City Police Station and gives you an inside story of some of the detainees related to substance abuse.

Dorji (name changed), 18, is the youngest of the detainees at the Thimphu City Police station, which houses more than 100 suspects. Of about 17 suspects detained for substance abuse, BBS met with Dorji who was raised by his father and stepmother after his mother passed away about ten years ago. Owing to social problems he resorted to drugs, which later became an addiction. Today, after spending more than a month in the cell- he has all regrets.

“Today is my hearing, my father and my stepmother are not showing up and it’s sad that I think of my late mother at this hour,” said Dorji.

Like him many detainees BBS met were also unaware of the legal provisions of substance abuse. “I did not know anything about the law then. I am seeing the handcuff for the first time and it’s sad,” said another 43 year old detainee.

Drug abusers are also one of the major contributors to the crime scenario in the country. More than 33% of them were found involved in crimes scenes like assault, battery, larceny and vandalism.

A 34 year old suspect was arrested in a fight scene in Thimphu. He was later tested positive for drugs. He has been in the cell for about five months now and it is only his sister who visits him. His parents, wife and children have disowned him. “I did it to ‘wash-off’ pains but now I have got more pain as I regret a lot. Nobody comes to meet me, except for my sister,” he said.

BBS also met with another 42 year old suspect who was arrested a few days back in relation to the Marijuana case in Dechencholing. He’s an addict himself for the last 15 years. “It is very sad. I think about my kids and it’s very difficult to cope up in there thinking about them,” he said with tears in his eyes.

The most common drugs in use according to the police are Marijuana followed by solvents like correcting fluids and dendrite and other pharmaceutical drugs. While the police have been able to achieve much in apprehending the substance abusers and smugglers going beyond the check points to raiding homes, those behind the cell have only one word to share- that is- Never Do Drugs.

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