Chhimi Dema  

Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority (BNCA)’s nicotine replacement therapy (NTR) received just about 200 individuals in the last two months.

The therapy was launched to provide an option for people to overcome tobacco addiction.

The therapy provides clients who want to quit with gums and patches to help overcome withdrawal and cravings.

A smoker said that the services were helpful for smokers. “The therapy helps to quit smoking by reducing the withdrawal symptoms.”

The therapy also aims to enhance harm reduction services–the prevention or reduction of negative health consequences of certain behaviour such as smoking and chewing tobacco.

BNCA’s deputy chief programme officer, Sonam Jamtsho, said that during the lockdown BNCA delivered NRT gums and patches to various zones for clients.

He said that not many came forward to avail the replacement therapy despite promotion and free distribution. “This may be because tobacco products are made easily available from various outlets.”

Clients undergo a session on the usage and possible side effects of the NRT. More than 40 individuals called for assistance on NRT in the second lockdown.

Individuals can avail the therapy by registering through BNCA at toll-free number 1011 or from the psychiatry department at JDWNRH.

BNCA provided online counselling to more than 90 individuals with substance abuse issues.

Sonam Jamtsho said that the online counselling was provided to voluntary clients experiencing withdrawal symptoms and cases referred by the police and the court.

BNCA’s Facebook page has contact numbers 17828242, 17518348 and 17314058 for those wanting to avail of its services.