Gories Mere, head of the National Narcotics Board
The National Narcotics Bureau (BNN) has warned of an increase in drug users if existing drug-abuse is not dealt with properly.
“The prevalence of drug users is going up. This year it is predicted to reach 5.1 million people,” said Gories Mere, head of the BNN, during a speech to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26.
President Susilo Bambang Ydhoyono and Vice President Boediono joined nearly 3,000 other attendees at an event held at the National Monument Park.
In 2009, Mere said, there were 3.6 million drug abusers aged 10 to 59, or 1.99 percent of the total population. In 2010, the number rose to 4.02 million people, or 2.21 percent.
Mere said the figures represented an alarming trend that would only get worse, and that students were among the most vulnerable to drug abuse.
He said the BNN has initiated training of students to be anti-narcotics ambassadors.
“We will also draft a bill to create a regular reporting system for drug addicts and break the networks of the narcotics syndicates.”
Dr. Angela F. Abidin, from the Commission for Health in the Jakarta archdiocese, said the organization supported any efforts to stop the increase in the use of narcotics.
“We focus on prevention. Our commission is drafting a module on narcotics counseling that will be distributed to parishes,” she said.
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