ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Drug use on the rise in Yogyakarta
Publication Date : 28-01-2013
Drug use in Yogyakarta, which is also renowned as the city of education, has been increasing over the last few years among entrepreneurs, private sector employees and students, according to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) provincial office.
“If no serious preventative measures are taken, by 2015, 3.37 per cent of the province’s total population or about 109,675 people will be drug users,” the head of BNN’s Yogyakarta office, Budi Harso, told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
He said that a BNN survey involving 10-to-59-year-olds showed that the number of drug users in the province had increased to 69,000 in 2011 from 68,000 in 2008. Of them, entrepreneurs, private sector employees and university students were found to be regular users.
“Entrepreneurs and private sector employees may have just continued the habit they picked-up in college,” Budi said.
He blamed the phenomenon on lifestyle changes among young people in the province, which had become a melting pot of people from across the country.
He also related this to the fact that Yogyakarta was a popular tourist destination.
Data from the Yogyakarta provincial police showed that the number of university students using drugs had increased from 51 in 2010 to 52 in 2011 and 58 in 2012.
The number of drug cases among entrepreneurs and private sector employees similarly increased from 186 in 2010 to 195 in 2011, although the number dropped to 120 in 2012. among blue-collar workers, the number was relatively small with 32 cases in 2010 and 25 cases each in 2011 and 2012. The most popular drug is marijuana.
“Marijuana is a favourite choice as it is locally grown, making it easy to get,” said Budi, adding that most of the marijuana had come from Sumatra.
He added that there had also been a trend among young people in the province to consume sedatives that were not categorised as narcotics. They obtained these sedatives legally with medical prescriptions.
“Doctors should make thorough examinations before prescribing sedatives to their patients,” Budi said.
He also that suggested cutting the chain of drug distribution and increasing people’s awareness on the negative impacts of drugs would help control the use of illicit drugs in the community.
“When the demand stops, the market will also automatically die,” he said.
Separately, the Yogyakarta Provincial Police’s narcotics chief detective, Sr. Comr. Wijanarko, said that the police had been dealing with between 260 and 280 drug cases annually, with Sleman regency and
Yogyakarta city topping the cases.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Yogyakarta chapter of the Indonesian Private University Association (Aptisi), Kasiyarno, expressed concern over the phenomenon and hoped that leaders of universities would monitor its students as their parents could not handle it alone.
He also suggested that BNN could provide information on the danger of drugs to all universities.
“BNN has not disseminated information often enough,” said Kasiyarno, who is also rector of Ahmad Dahlan University in Yogyakarta.
Ahmad Dahlan University itself, according to Kasiyarno, had been named a drug-free university by BNN in September 2012 as none of its 500 students who underwent urine tests were found positive for drug use.