Happiness Centre thrives from community support despite limited funds and accommodations.


The Happiness Centre in Phuentsholing has been sustaining for five years, offering post-treatment services to youth with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) and senior residents in the city and people from other parts of the country. However, the center is thriving for its sustenance, with support from some organizations and volunteers.

The Centre hasbrightened the lives of individuals suffering from alcohol use disorder (AUD) and SUDs.  Through cooperation with relevant agencies and stakeholders and others, the center revives society and illuminates the dark corners of the alcohol-related affected people.

The Project Director of the Happiness Center, Bhup Dhog Ghalley, said, “The care  Centre is sustaining just through the support of our well-wishers.”  Phuentsholing business community, members, and families support the Centre in cash and kind. The supporters provide grocery items, rations, used clothes, and bedding. Besides, the Centre has one fast food restaurant funded by Save the Children and Phuentsholing Thormde, Nazhoen Lamtoen, Rigsar Company, and Ugyen Yoezer Suppliers.

Though the Centre gets material support, the Project Director said, “financial support is very rare and hardly managed.” It is being managed jointly by their Administration and Accounts. The Centre is monitored and evaluated by the parent organization, Nazhoen Lamtoen.

Confronted with insufficient accommodations, the service centre is located only in Phuentsholing with limited spots.

Phuentsholing being a business hub of the country, recovery members and youths come for shopping and other purposes. There is a very high risk of relapse and overdose due to the easy access to substances from the Indian border and the lack of aftercare service centers after rehabilitation treatment according to the Project Director. “This is the biggest challenge, and we want to make our base strong here at Phuentsholing, then later plan to explore other parts of our country,” he said.

The Centre piloted and reached out to individuals struggling with substance use disorder. The Happiness Center motivates affected individuals to seek treatment and connects them with rehabilitation facilities. Once admitted, they receive continuous care and support within the center, focusing on their reintegration into society.

“Since our clients are in different stages of recovery and health conditions, they need transportation for immediate medical attention at any time of the day, even more frequently. We have to pick up and drop off destitute and abandoned AUDs patients from town for immediate care and support,” he added. Transportation is also needed for the centre’s shopping, awareness and outreach programs.”

The Centre has members from different walks of life. The members particularly are from those who served the ongoing AUDs and SUDs post-treatment with senior citizens, those who can see well through those terrifying scenes and can pull back to the normal lives of the people without failure.

The co-founder of Happiness Centre, Ugyen Dorji said, “While serving those with disorders, we need a lot of patience to deal with them. For us, we can well understand this kind of hardship, and without being demotivated, we can serve with dedication and reintegrate into normal life.” Those who haven’t suffered and have undergone such treatment will have a high chance of getting demotivated and leaving the services, according to the co-founder.

Additionally, the Happiness Centre in Phuentsholing has sent the patient to rehabilitation centers in India. A 42-year-old man from Samtse has been loitering in the street of Phuentsholing for less than two years and has been admitted to the hospital for detox for ten days. After that, he was transferred to Siliguri Rehabilitation, and currently, he has completed his post-treatment and is back to normal after five years.

Bhup Dhog Ghalley narrates, “Referring to India rehabilitation is one reason since, in our country, hospitals only allow a single attendant for detoxification and otherwise refuse to admit. Further, SUD individuals should have the willingness to undergo detoxification and rehabilitation treatment, otherwise, they are not permitted to be admitted to our country’s rehabs.”  So, most SUD individuals are unwilling to stop substance use, despite their unmanageable lives due to substance use disorders. Yet, to save their lives, the Centre sends them to Indian rehabs, where they provide detoxification and rehabilitation treatment together.

The Happiness Center undergoes challenges in providing separate accommodations for the separate genders, especially for females. Therefore, now they are only able to refill and provide immediate medical care for female SUDs.

Ugyen Dorji said, “We are looking for help, though we could only provide compassionate care and aftercare treatment. This includes skill development training, recovery sessions, and personalized guidance to prevent relapse.” Additionally, they introduce individuals to self-help groups for ongoing care and support.”

As per the report presented at Phuentsholing during the Strengthening Media-Civil Society Organisation collaboration workshop, the Centre has 187 males and 8 females AUDs, and 56 males and 3 females SUDs.

People are being approached and given information on disorders, encouragement, and interventions. In addition, POLY (41 men and 4 women) are receiving counseling, medical care, and detoxification. Currently, there are 3,681 patients in the Centre as of 30 November from 6 February 2023 with 37 total members, who serve those with helpless disorders.

Happiness Centre is affiliated with Nazhoen Lamtoen, CSO supported by Phuentsholing Thromde, RBP, local business community of Phuentsholing, and recovering members.

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