Even as we strive to build a happy society that maximises and shares contentment among the citizens, we have left certain sections of our society, wittingly or otherwise, out on the fringes. Merits aside, we have missed to communally own our flaws. We are talking addiction problem – one of the greatest scourges of modern times.

We knew that with modern development will come challenges myriad; only we couldn’t pull ourselves to prepare. And as we moved on with grand-sounding policies and programmes, we forgot to nurture and secure our future – the youth. Here is now the reality so: rising youth unemployment that is coming down hard on the dreams and aspirations of many a young individual.

Our young people today are standing on a cliff edge, so to speak. They are faced with a choice. What they need is more than just a call. We need to bring them back in the fold.

Recovering addicts have now taken upon themselves to knock on every door to spread the message of ill effects of addiction. It will not be easy for them because they are standing on the bridge line. What they really need is support from the communities. The proceeds from this programme will provide free treatment to at least 200 addicts who are struggling to kick the habit. They are aiming for a society that is drug-free. As responsible members of society, therefore, it is incumbent on us to render support to them any which way we can.

The least we can do is allow them the space and encourage them to carry on. When persons dealing with addiction problems are committing themselves to bringing about positive change in the society, it speaks so much about the society’s weakness. Serbithang in Thimphu and Samzang in Paro are the only two rehabilitation centres we have yet, but together they are able to take in only about three clients each every three months. Every month, however, at least six clients require the help of rehabilitation centres.

Any one person’s addiction problem is our problem; compartmentalising common problem as here and there will help nobody. We welcome the initiative from the recovering addicts. At the same time, we should give them all the support.