Interventions for Substance Abuse by the Central Monastic Body (Gzhung Gra Tshang) in Bhutan
AbstractThe increasing number of Bhutanese youth engaging in drugs has become a national concern. In 2017, The Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority has reported that the use of cannabis was highest among the high school students with 24 percent followed by pharmaceuticals opioids. Realizing the need to protect the future leaders of the nation from drugs and alcohol, the Gzhung Gra Tshang proposed an intervention. The Gzhung Gra Tshang has been actively engaged in controlling addiction from a Buddhist perspective since 2003. However, it is unclear about the type of interventions that are currently practiced. Therefore, this qualitative study was carried out to understand the intervention approaches practiced by the Gzhung Gra Tshang. Chos Bshad Las Rim was one of the interventions conducted by Gzung Gra Tshang. The participants comprised of seven program implementers and seven students who had attended the Chos Bshad Las Rim in their respective schools in Bhutan. The study identified Chos Bshad Las Rim as an effective intervention to substance abuse by Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan. The other key findings reveal that teaching Cause and Effect (Karma), meditation, and engaging youth in monasteries have a significant effect in bringing attitudinal changes in them.
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