Bhup D Ghalley

“We are born with the desire to fit in. I started doing drugs for my peers and was addicted for 19 years. I would steal money and beg on the streets to buy drugs. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been behind bars for theft, violence and drug abuse. No one could help me. I told myself that I’d stop using it when I finished school, completed my technical training, or got married. But each time I reached a milestone, I shoved the dream of quitting further. I somehow passed my training but started selling drugs as a well-paying job was hard to come by. The first time, I got sentenced to a year. I went home in handcuffs to see the birth of my first child and attend my father inlaw’s funeral rites. A few years later, the police raided my house and found drugs again. I was in 3 years this time, without bail or family.

That was when the first rehab facility opened in Bhutan. They provided counselling and emotional support. I started identifying how I had given up the little I had to have even less. I finally felt the true need to change. I attended workshops and started working as a counsellor. We see many people relapse after rehabilitation because addicts aren’t taught how to be a part of society again.

Many are disowned by their families and suffer from extreme self-loathing. I approached Phuentsholing Thromde, who gave me the space for the ‘Happiness Center’. Here, we provide after-care to recovering addicts. It is now affiliated with Nazhoen Lamtoen, a Non-Government organization in Thimphu. We rounded up people suffering from all sorts of substance use disorders and brought them here to give them the help they needed. Seeing them prosper in life motivates me to do more. For the past 4 years, we’ve been helping addicts reintegrate into society.

Those prone to addiction are looked down upon, which is a sad reality because often, it was never their choice to become addicts. Addiction is a disease. They deserve to be loved and cared for like anybody else.”

Humans of Thimphu with YPEER Asia Pacific Center -Ypeer AP brings stories of the Young Key Population, their vulnerabilities, and their journeys.

#HumansofThimphu #HumanStories #SRHRforEveryone


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