It has long been known that drugs are prevalent in Jakarta and Bali, but there is now evidence that other parts of the country are coming under the threat of this social menace at an increasing rate.
The campaign to rid schools, universities and prisons of drugs appears to be a losing battle.
On Friday, officers at the Kerobokan prison in Bali conducted a raid and confiscated 1.4 kilograms of marijuana, adding to the long list of cases where illicit drugs have been distributed behind prison walls. Chief warden Gusti Ngurah Wiratna said three inmates were under arrest for drug possession.
Illegal drugs are rampant inside Kerobokan. Prison officials occasionally find inmates showing withdrawal symptoms from their drug use, necessitating their evacuation to the hospital.
Drugs are becoming increasingly widespread and more easily attainable inside Indonesia. To halt this deadly spread, governments at all levels have to work harder. On this front we applaud the East Kalimantan’s government pledge to wipe out drugs within its borders by 2015. Skeptics will say this is a long shot but its commitment to the cause is admirable.
East Kalimantan Deputy Governor Farid Wadjdy announced the target on Friday. “All levels of society, be it religious clerics, teachers or the police, must get together to wage war against the spread and abuse of narcotics,” he said.
Farid cited as an example the efforts in Kutai Timur district, which earmarked Rp 3 billion ($320,000) this year for anti-drug programs and rehabilitation.
This is a bold move. More local governments must follow this lead and devote more resources to fighting growing drug use, especially among young people. Without a concerted effort, drugs will destroy our social fabric and corrupt our youth.