RBP Drug Division Thimphu busts 6 individuals selling solvents the new and cheap drug for youths

On 28 September evening, the RBP Drug Division in Thimphu busted 6 individuals selling solvents (paint thinner) in the core town. The main dealer, a man is in his 20s, has been selling the solvents to another man in his 40s who, in turn, has been selling the solvent to others. The other 4 individuals included a man and 3 women with age ranging from 16 to 27 years.

The two men have been detained, and the rest 4 individuals have been forwarded to the substance use disorder (SUD) unit for further treatment and interventions.

It was known that the solvent was poured from the tin container into mineral water bottles and sold in the town premises, especially to young individuals for misuse and abuse.

The RBP drug division, Thimphu said that the new trend right now is abusing of thinner, which has become increasingly high among minors and the youth.

So far this year, RBP has seized 103.41 liters of solvent (thinner).

The drug division shared that they are trying to identify the individuals who are selling the solvents to minors.

However, since the solvent (thinner) is a legal commodity, it can be easily bought, and the youth end up abusing it though it is not meant to be abused.

Sniffing of the thinner, being a volatile substance like an acid, enters the brain cell and kills the cells in it. It reduces a certain percentage of thinking process, memory, and therefore, the analyzing process is reduced. Prolonged abuse of such volatile substance can severely affect the brain and make it non-functional. Therefore, thinners are categorized as dangerous substance which is being abused.

When the youth start abusing such substances, it limits and disrupts their normal growth both physically and mentally.

The division shared that they are sensitizing and informing the hardware owners where the commodities are sold to be careful while selling these solvents even though they are legal commodities, but are misused and abused by individuals.

Meanwhile, as of 26 September 2023 there were total of 1,311 cases related to substance abuse and 2,474 individuals arrested.

The seizures are recorded as 10.28 kgs of cannabis, 0.78 kg of hashish, 0.38 kg of brown sugar, 6 g of ketamine, 192,629 capsules of tramadol, 2,273 tablets of nitrosun 10, 203 bottles of 100 ml codeine syrup and 103.41 liters of solvent (thinner).

RBP said that while trying to combat drug menace, there are basically two major components, which are supply reduction and demand reduction.

On the front of supply reduction, the RBP’s 80 to 90 percent of activities are on it. It includes means to stop supplies through the neighboring countries, where in at the check posts, dry ports and mega ports the division have elements including the airports and regular highway checking.

Another activity here includes apprehending all those individuals who are trafficking and smuggling substances inside the country. Those who are abusers are also identified and apprehended.

The division is also conducting nation-wide drug testing starting from professional drivers in all dzongkhags with the coordination and guidance from the PEMA Secretariat.  

In the demand part firstly, the division creates awareness and gives sensitization in schools, colleges, institutions and other counter parts. Those individuals who are identified and arrested for substance abuse are directed to the SUD units for treatment so that their demand for the drug is still.

Further, the Narcotic Drug division shared that they are actively involved in collecting intelligence reports on drug trafficking and abuse by planting informers within the country and in the neighboring towns across the borders.

The division is also constantly updating all the narcotic drug cases and analyzing the trends.

It was known from the trend that in the early part of autumn, there was a decline in the pharmaceutical drugs and increase in cannabis. However, in the winter and spring, the opposite trend was observed.

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