BhutanThere is very little information on the nature, extent and pattern of drug use in Bhutan, even less so on consequences of drug use. However the geographical proximity of the country to high IDU prevalence areas such as Nepal, and northeast states of India render it potentially vulnerable to IDU and its consequences.
A high percentage of Bhutan’s population is adolescents and youth (63% of the population is younger than 24 years), and this percentage is predicted to rise. This will add to the HIV/AIDS risk. The incidence of other STDs is high with annual rates of gonorrhea standing at 2% and syphilis only slightly lower (UNDP 2003b.)
The Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances notification of 1996 is the legal tool for the regulation of Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic substances. The Government of Bhutan is currently engaged in activities to sensitize various agencies involved in the control and regulation of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors. A National Drug Control Committee was formed in December 2004. Legislation is being drafted and procedures are being finalized for precursor controls. Required certification and notification procedures are in the process of being established.
he Bhutan Penal Code is under consideration of the national assembly. If the code is passed, it can be used for controlling drugs and precursors also by framing appropriate rules and regulations under the Code.
The prisoners are provided with treatment at the Basic Health Unit (BHU) in Bhutan. A Medical Officer, Health Assistant, Assistant Nurse and two non–medical staff man the Unit. Health records of the individual prisoners are maintained and minor ailments of the prisoners are treated at BHU itself. The medical officer visits the BHU once a week for the routine checkups. The prisoners who need further investigation are referred to concerned medical specialists as and when required. Emergency services are available 24–hours–a–day. Health Education programmes are provided on a regular basis.