Visit: To explore possibilities of collaboration and partnership in drug education and rehabilitation services between the Princess Mother National Institute for Drug Abuse Treatment (PMNIDAT), Bangkok and Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF), the President of YDF, Her Majesty the Queen Mother Tshering Pem Wangchuck is in Bangkok for a two-day visit

Vice president of the foundation, Her Royal Highness, Ashi Chimi Yangzom Wangchuck, is accompanying the Queen Mother.

Possible areas of collaborations with regards to effective treatment module, capacity enhancement, occupational skills-based programmes for reintegration into mainstream society and exchange programmes will be explored.

The partnership is envisioned to address the concern of the nation to curb the growing numbers of youth abusing drugs and alcohol, a press release from the foundation stated

YDF established the Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center with the rapid increase in the numbers of youth abusing drugs and alcohol. Currently the center caters about 100 clients a year.

Meanwhile, with the support from the government of India, YDF had started the construction of a new facility in Tsaluna, Thimphu. The center will be inaugurated this year to mark the 60th birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth King.

Police records maintained by Bhutan Narcotic Control Agency (BNCA) between 2001 and 2014 showed that approximately 36 percent of drug offenders are school students followed by 34 percent unemployed.

According to the findings of 2009 national Baseline Assessment conducted by BNCA and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the most prevalent substance abuses are cannabis, glue sniffing and pharmaceutical medicines.

The Bhutan delegation comprises of key representatives of the Colombo plan, BNCA and YDF officials.

By Dechen Tshomo