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Govt Urged To Focus More On Preventing Drug Abuse
Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/03/05/govt-urged-focus-more-preventing-drug-abuse.html
Source Date: Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Focus: E-Procurement
Country: Indonesia
Created: Mar 04, 2014

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) recommended that the Indonesian government should invest more in preventing drug abuse and establishing a rehabilitation center rather than prosecuting drug addicts.

The 2013 annual report published by the United Nations-affiliated organization found that drug addicts in countries around the world, including Indonesia, lacked medical treatment from the state. The report shows that in every six drug addicts, only one is treated for addiction.

The total number of drug addicts treated in rehabilitation centers worldwide was 4.5 million in 2013.

INCB vice president Sri Suryawati said during the launch of the report on Tuesday that the ratio in the US and Canada was currently at one to three, while in Latin America the ratio was one to 11. In Indonesia the ratio is worse, at one to 510.

The figures indicated a lack of drug abuse prevention and medical treatment for addicts, and this had led to bigger burdens being paid by governments.

“The global cost spent on treating drug addicts is around US$35 billion per year,” Sri said. 

Deputy Health Minister Ali Ghufron Mukti said his ministry had worked with numerous organizations to raise awareness that drug addicts had the right to access rehabilitation centers instead of facing prosecution.

Ali said public and law enforcement agencies needed to know the difference between drug addicts, drug dealers and drug kingpins. 

“We currently have many drug addicts detained and this is not right, because they should be sent to rehab, not prison,” he said.

Anhar Nasution, chairman for the Anti-Narcotics Task Force NGO, said his organization had been working to persuade the National Police to be lenient on those with drug addiction problems.

“I think the police are now aware that drug addicts need rehab and should not be treated as criminals,” he said.

Data from the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) shows the country has around 3.7 to 4.7 million drug addicts and only 18,000 of them are already in rehab.

BNN rehabilitation deputy Diah Setia Utami said drug addicts should not always join rehabilitation programs in inpatient programs. 

“Outpatient programs based on treatment and prescriptions from doctors could also work for drug addicts,” she said.

Ali said the government was considering providing medical treatment for drug addicts under the new national healthcare program (JKN), which started on Jan. 1, as it could help drug addicts who were poor and fully subsidized by the government. (gda)
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