Drugs and alcohol: Finding solutions

A National Statistics Bureau’s (NSB) study has found that drugs and alcohol are the chief factors leading young people to commit crimes.

What strikes us immediately is as if we knew nothing about it. But what is significant about the report is that it shows our legislators and stakeholders what they can do in their capacity to address the problem.

Drug peddling has now become a lucrative business even in the rural pockets of the country. This means that what used to be problems specific to the towns has entered in the villages. It is not difficult to surmise the complications that our otherwise calm and peaceful cousins in the rural areas are now having to go through.

The question is one of availability. How difficult is it for people to transport controlled substances? Going by the amount of narcotics we seize every now and then, there are loopholes in the system. And, where in our towns do we not get alcohol? In fact, every second shop is a bar where anyone can go and down liquor of his choice until legs cannot hold the body and tongue cannot call the next shot.

Where we should have more bookstores and educative centres, we have bars and pubs myriad. But why, really?

We seem to make a joke of ourselves. Sometimes we ban alcohol import in an effort to reduce the availability that is at the core of the problem for the young, the next we find ourselves lifting the ban because vast availability of alcohol is good.

Same has happened with our effort to control tobacco. We have put in measures to control, yet the availability of tobacco products has increased. We do not need studies to show us by how much the availability of tobacco products has grown. We could not even implement the regulation that mandates every office, bar, restaurant and hotel to provide a space where smokers can engage in their habit.

What is interesting about drugs is that they find easy access from both north and south. We know this, yet we haven’t the mechanisms to deal with it. But then, we also know that the number and the kind of crimes related to young people is not seasonal as we thought it was.

According to NSB, 40 percent of crimes committed by young people are due to influence of alcohol. Only 12 percent of crimes committed by youth are due to drugs. This fact urges us to demand consistent, honest and regular study. Otherwise, there is the danger of missing the real picture.

Where we fail is in the implementation of rules and regulations. It is almost as if we are not serious about dealing with emerging social problems. Let there be rules, rules with teeth indeed. We must figure out what is to be done with easy accessibility of drugs and alcohol. Solutions must be found. The sooner we do this, the better.

3 replies
    • editor
      editor says:

      Dear Mr MIGNIEN,

      While we appreciate your participation in the discussions, your English communications is not quite clear and sometimes you make comments which maybe sensitive to the Bhutanese audience. All your posts require heavy editing for which we don’t have time and you have already warned us about editing your posts. We provide this platform for healthy discussions in a democracy but at the same the authors have the responsibility to contribute quality write-ups both in substance and form.

  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    The statistics says it all and we also believe in it that alcohol and drugs are the mothers of all causes in the world of youth related crimes. On many occasions, the statistics will probably also suggest that both criminals and victims are youth only.

    But before alcohol and drugs as addictions causing our youth to commit crimes; there come the frustrations of all kinds. The reality today is that our youths are getting frustrated too often and very easily. We don’t need a lot of analysis to understand the fact that triggering crime thorough frustration is much easier.

    There was time when even I thought that all youth related frustrations are only about relating to society and economics. But we also have the family related causes to consider. If the family comes before society, we expect the entire family to be happy and without any frustrating forces to disturb the peace.

    Our youths have also started to lose their peace of mind. And on many occasions, the struggles and competitions of today’s busy and difficult lives have left them filled with frustration and void of peace. And this is also true that on many such cases only we can fix the frustrations, disturbances and pains of our respective minds.

    Sad part is that alcohol and drug abuse just don’t help us in doing just that. It can also leave us in positions where we can practice neither the physical nor the mental minimal exercises that can help to free our minds from so many of those disturbing forces. We have stopped being religious in the mind when only the rituals have remained as strong cultures.

    Even in something as scientific as human psychology, we are getting restricted and limited to the mere ritual of matching historical causes as knowledge with individual behaviours to understand problems. So when our youth see someone drinking or doing drugs as remedy for only his right or wrong needs, they simply follow the trait as some style that eventually becomes a culture of unwanted addictions. Good thing is that we all know the solutions and causes. Hopefully, we all will learn to identify the right way to the right set of problems and everything will be well matched and balanced.

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