U-Turn Program

There are a number of barriers, both social and systemic, that prevent people from accessing the life-saving medications they need as addicts. These barriers are related to stigma and discrimination, inadequate professional education and others. Social stigma from the general public is largely rooted in the misconception developed over the years that addiction is the result of an individual’s moral failure or a lack of self-discipline. Thus, the individual is blamed and the fact that addiction is a disease completely ignored. Evidence demonstrates that social stigma contributes and adds to the public acceptance that addiction is an individual’s problem – a moral failure. Further, people are reluctant to seek treatment as the society stigmatizes those going to any center or institution providing treatment. Additionally, individuals face similar problems after treatment. In order to generate awareness, spread the message that addiction is a disease that can be treated and to educate people on other nuances of addiction, CPA in collaboration with the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) has come with a program called the U-turn. In this program, former addicts speak on television and share their experiences. They speak about their first drink which made them addicts. They speak about other challenges confronted. While the program is an effort to generate awareness about substance abuse, the overriding message is that anyone can become an addict; addiction is a disease that can be cured and that everyone in the society can play very significant roles in combating and treating addiction. We bring to you some stories that have appeared on BBS television, stories that ought to make all of us think and realize that we can play important roles in combating addiction; stories that highlight where we fail as humans and citizens to help those fighting addiction and stories that underline that every addict is like one of us, requiring assistance in a different way.

U-turn Program Post