Newly inaugurated National Narcotics Agency (BNN) chief Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso seeks to review a law that sends convicted drug users to rehab instead of prison. (AFP Photo/Choo Youn-kong)

BNN Signs MoU to Tackle Drug Use in Rural Indonesia

BY :PRISKA SARI PRATIWI

MARCH 31, 2015

Jakarta. In a bid to halt drug use in rural Indonesia, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Development of Villages and Underdeveloped Regions and Transmigration.

Despite fewer drug users in rural areas than cities, BNN Deputy of Justice and Cooperation Aidil Chandra Salim explained the partnership was necessary.

“Drugs could be distributed anywhere, even to remote areas,” Aidil said on Tuesday.

The agency was also looking at counselling for drug users outside of cities, Aidil said, but admitted at present the BNN was short of officers to provide the service.

“We don’t have many officers who can give counseling. We are conducting a capacity building to deal with that issue,” Aidil said.

In January the anti-narcotics body claimed there were 4.5 million drug users in Indonesia — or about 2 percent of the country’s total population.

About 22 percent of those 4.5 million users were comprised of students, while 70 percent were workers, according to the BNN.

Aidil said the BNN is looking to work with universities because the younger generation was at a higher risk of drug abuse.

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