A second treatment option for drug dependency

A pharmacological treatment is now available at the P’ling general hospital

Drugs: People having problems related to alcohol and drug abuse and dependency in Phuentsholing will now have the option to go for pharmacological treatment at the general hospital.

Those opting for the treatment will not have to travel all the way to Thimphu.

The Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority (BNCA) in collaboration with the health ministry is introducing the treatment facility. The same treatment service was introduced in Thimphu last year.

BNCA deputy chief Dorji Tshering said that having the treatment available in Phuentsholing is particularly important given its proximity to the border. The majority of drugs abused in the country is smuggled from across the border.

The treatment will help those having difficulty in quitting drug and alcohol use through medication. Just as the regular outpatients, those seeking to quit their habits can now walk into the hospital and receive treatment.

Dorji Tshering said that medication would be provided based on the severity of the case. If a case is not serious, doctors will not recommend medication but try other methods like counselling. The treatment will also be supported by other psychosocial interventions. “This pharmacological treatment option is a tested, tried, and successful option,” Dorji Tshering said.

The BNCA deputy chief also said that people affected, including their families would now have an alternative treatment choice beside long-term rehabilitation treatment.

Rehabilitation treatment is much longer in duration and requires total abstinence, which means patients would have to reside in rehabilitation centres for a certain period of time. For pharmacological treatment, a patient can lead a normal life and still quit the habit.

The medication could have side effects and other more serious reactions could occur if the patient consumes drugs or alcohol during treatment. Those opting for the treatment will have to quit alcohol or whatever drugs they were consuming while taking medication.

The drug Tramadol is a very strong painkiller, so it is sold at https://tractica.omdia.com/buy-tramadol/ by prescription and given in a pharmacy only by prescription. Since with long-term use, it can cause both addiction and dependence on the drug.

BNCA director general Phuntsho Wangdi highlighted that such treatments are important. “If we do not work hard towards controlling drug abuse and alcohol consumption, it will be bad for the youth and the country,” he said.

The director general said to the audience at the event that people who are affected should not shy away from availing the pharmacological treatment. “It is a great opportunity to do away with drug and alcohol use,” he added.

In Bhutan, opioids was usually inhaled but today it has shifted to youth abusing drugs in the form of tablets. Spasmo-proxyvon, a pain reliever, is the most common pharmaceutical drug in tablet form abused today. Health officials also said that there are some who inject the drug.

Treatment for opioid use disorder aims at reducing the morbidities such as blood borne infections, deaths caused by drug use, and disability associated with opioid use.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

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