Awareness on drug and alcohol held in Iowa


Bhutanese community of Iowa just held an educational interactive program on drug abuse, alcoholism and drunk driving that has become very serious issue of health and safety concern to Bhutanese in Iowa. The program was held Saturday, March 22, 2014. ‘This was one of the first program held after the formation of community organization’, said one of the board members of BCI.

According to SB Gurung, the chair of Educational committee, many young people in Iowa have taken to drug abuse and alcoholism, leading to severe accidents or ending up in jail caught up for drunk driving. So it has been felt as crucial to bring awareness to the public, the effects of drug and narcotic abuse or alcoholism as a measure of preventive action.

The guest speaker was officer Doua Lor of De Moines Police Department who also oversees the Asian Outreach Neighborhood base services delivery. With a power point presentation, he spoke for about two hours on the various aspects of using or misusing drugs and alcohol, existing legal frameworks in place to control or punish the offenders.  He gave detail instructions to the community as to how one can be safe from the various level of substance abuse. The interpretation was provided by Chida Dahal, the general secretary of BCI.

Participants with the police officer/Photo courtesy: SB Gurung
Participants with the police officer/Photo courtesy: SB Gurung

“The awareness program would not have been so successful without the support of Mrs. Sanjita Pradhan, Executive Officer at Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs and Iowa Department of Human Rights”, said SB Gurung to BNS over the telephone. “It was also the hard work and guidance of the board members and volunteers of community that helped to make this program productive and worth considering in future”, said Gurung.

The educational program was initiated and geared to success under the leadership of Sha Bahadur  Gurung, who heads the sub-committee of education for BCI. “We hope to conduct such awareness and educational program in the future too”, he expressed optimism.