Addiction in Indonesia

Indonesia remains the largest drug destination in Asia despite its lush and beautiful scenery.

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Addiction Facts And Figures in Indonesia

Indonesia is a lush country popular for tourists who seek to enjoy its volcanic and green scenery.  An exciting and peaceful destination, Indonesia remains the largest drug destination in Asia. Some factors of Indonesian drug activity include drug dealers from other countries who sell drugs to foreigner tourists. With the reputation as a drug trafficking hub, Indonesia also experiences drug abuse as well as drug imports.

The country boasts 273,523,615 inhabitants, 6 million who suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. In 2002, Indonesia saw an increase in substance abuse, with a reported 17.8% of people with a substance abuse disorder dying from fatal overdoses. As of 2004, an estimated 1.5% of the population aged 15 to 64 years of age in Indonesia abused harmful chemicals. About 71% consumed marijuana, and 15% abused meth.

Unfortunately, children are not immune from the grips of substance abuse in Indonesia, and a younger population of Indonesians are reported to use drugs more than adults. In recent years, 5.9 million Indonesian children out of the 87 million children were reported abusing drugs—1.6 million who are drug dealers. Furthermore, children often act as mules for drug trafficking as they often go under the radar. In response, strides are being made to solve the drug problems and fight addiction in Indonesia; however, 50 people still die each day in Indonesia because of drug overdoses. As a result, 60 drug-related networks in the country has resulted in the loss of $63 trillion Indonesian rupiah (equating to $4 million dollars).

5.9 million Indonesian children out of the 87 million children were reported abusing drugs—1.6 million who are drug dealers.

Intravenous Drug Use And Risks In Indonesia

As of 2000, a study noted there were 1.5 million drug users in Indonesia, with 124,000 to 1,000,000 classified as intravenous drug users. Intravenous drug use (IVD) is defined as the injection of a substance into the vein using a needle. Typically, the most commonly abused drugs in this form include heroin, cocaine, meth, fentanyl and other opioid painkillers, and some prescription stimulants. Those battling substance abuse disorders may prefer this method of drug use as the effects are felt shortly after injection.

The effects of the drug tend to be felt intensely, in a matter of minutes, quickly entering the bloodstream. Short-term effects depend on the drug used; however, long-term effects range from wounds at injection site; heart-valve infection (endocarditis); abscesses; wound botulisms; hepatitis B and C; collapsed veins; and HIV/AIDS. In cases of repeated drug use, fatal overdoses can occur, as well as complications from HIV and AIDS and other health-related difficulties.

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Alcoholism in Indonesia

Indonesia is a Muslim country and many regard drinking and drug use as a sin. Moreover, alcohol is illegal but can be purchased in bars and restaurants, it has “over 100 regulations to control its use.” Additionally, the Indonesian government has restrictions on importing alcohol. Despite these measures, homemade beers and alcohol are popularly enjoyed throughout the country, leading to many deaths.

CNN reports there were “300 deaths between 2003 and 2013” because of this unlicensed alcohol. In 2010, a methanol-laced alcoholic beverage led to the deaths of 16 tourists; 23 people had died previously because of a drink with similar ingredients. In 2018, cases still emerged of alcohol poisoning and people dying because of bootleg liquor. By the same year, there were 500 deaths, and 141 people were admitted to the hospital due to alcohol poisoning. Sadly, low income people who can’t afford to drink from bars and restaurants opt for homemade versions. These often contain ingredients like methanol that had byproducts that can cause severe harm and death when combined with alcohol.

Popularly consumed bootleg liquor contains ingredients like methanol that had byproducts that can cause severe harm and death when combined with alcohol.

Harm Reduction Programs And Prevention

Indonesia has some of the strictest drug use laws in Southeast Asia. For one, Indonesian authorities have permission to enforce a “shoot-on-sight” police for drug dealers and drug traffickers. This law enforced by President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte allows cops to kill drug dealers to fight drug problems and addiction in Indonesia.

Despite this, drug abuse rates are increasing, and people who abuse drugs have been sent to jail. Fortunately, judges can offer rehabilitation programs for inmates who abused drugs after their trials. Not surprisingly, going to jail doesn’t do much to help those battling substance abuse, however, going to rehab can bring about much-needed help.

Drug Treatment Medications And Treatment For Addiction In Indonesia

According to the International Society of Substance Use Professionals, the Indonesian government is responsible for substance abuse treatment for those in need. There is a budget used to assist those with substance abuse disorders, which out-of-pocket payment is typically the method used to fund substance use disorders treatment. There are 3 main modes of substance abuse treatment for addiction in Indonesia, including:

  • Specialized treatment in Jakarta
  • Integration of substance abuse (with mental health support)
  • Integrated SUD treatment with general healthcare with Methadone maintenance treatment

Drugs like methadone are commonly used to treat opioid abuse in Indonesia. Benzodiazepines typically assist in alcohol withdrawal and associated symptoms like anxiety, nausea, cravings, and sweating. Nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, and general practitioners are available to assist those along their recovery.

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