Youths below 24 comprise majority of those arrested for substance abuse

As of 22 December 2023, there were 3,472 individuals arrested for substance abuse, where 1,815 individuals are under the age category of 24, and 1,657 individuals arrested are above 25 years of age.

804 individuals have been charged sheeted to the court, and 2,668 individuals including 19 housewives have been referred to The PEMA Centre for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment.

Highest arrests made, in terms of division wise, is in Thimphu with about 1,500 arrests, Phuentsholing with over 600 arrests, Gelephu with 300 plus arrests, Paro about 190, Samtse with about 170 arrests, Samdrupjongkhar above 110 and Wangdue above 100 arrests made.

The Narcotic Drug and Other Vices Division (NDOVD) in Thimphu mentioned that seeing the number of arrests, people might be alarmed, and worry about how crowded the prisons would be.

So, NDOVD assured that most of the individuals are referred for treatment assessment, which is an alternative measure. Also, prison-based treatment are provided for those convicted individuals.

Majority of the individuals involved in substance abuse are unemployed, followed by private and business employees, and then students.

In November, there was about 150 cases registered and over 300 individuals arrested.

In December, there was 100 registered cases with 180 plus arrests.

In December, the police made the biggest drug bust from a 27-year-old man, a taxi driver, in Changzamtog who was in possession of 7,006 capsules of tramadol capsule SP Plus.

The capsules were concealed in the man’s car and some were also hidden in his residence.

Upon interrogation, he confessed that his subsequent supplier a 28-year-old man was in Phuentsholing and was arrested from ICP gate with the help of Phuentsholing police.  Further investigation is being carried out on this case.

Both the suspects are ex-convicts.

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