Health Department Leads in Efforts to Curb Substance Abuse in Tibetan Youth

Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk, Department of Health, CTA addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Substance Abuse Review Meeting and Workshop on 12 July 2017.

The Health Prevention Cell of the Department of Health, CTA is planning out new initiatives for the coming year to combat substance abuse among youth in Tibetan community.

Addressing the Substance Abuse Review meeting cum workshop this morning, Health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk said, “Past efforts in preventing substance abuse that relied solely on expulsion and exclusion of affected youth from the community were a failed approach. What we need is to develop a school-based support system that includes well-informed school administrators, teachers and mentors.

“Substance abuse in Tibetan community is relatively low and therefore this is a timely exercise to stem the problems right from the early stage. In that regard, school principals, administrators and health officers are more so apt to share this information with students,” Kalon said.

As told by the Health Kalon, multiple initiatives are being developed to engage Tibetan youth in health and wellness activities; to reinforce the importance of healthy lifestyles and creativity through sports and

Secretary Tsegyal Chukya Dranyi, Department of Health, CTA delivering the inaugural remarks at the Substance Abuse Review Meeting cum Workshop on 12 July 2017.

recreation and develop community and peer support units. Tibetan Basketball tournament against Tuberculosis will be rolled out within the next two months, he said.

In the next two days, the Health Prevention cell, DOHe and over 21 school principals, rectors, mentors, counselors and nurses will discuss strategies to address substance abuse in schools.

The two day agenda includes: indepth presentation on Drug abuse, effects and treatment by Nikhil Dwarka, Mentor, Zhedhey Khangsar Rehab Center; talk on Behavioral and Mental aspect of children with drug abuse problem by Ngawang, Mentor; overview of Drug Abuse in Tibetan community by Dawa Tsering, Director of Kunphen Center and member of Tibetan parliament; experience sharing by individuals affected by substance abuse.

“The meeting cum workshop will also train the participants to detect early signs of substance abuse,” said Secretary Tsegyal Chukya Dranyi, Department of Health.

Earlier last month, the Department of Health organised a marathon race for over 105 Tibetan students to raise awareness on harmful effects of substance abuse.