A purpose-built drug-rehabilitation centre will be built in Bali to treat addicts and offer an alternative to prison sentences for those convicted of drugs offences.
The centre, to be built in Bangli, will be the second such facility in Indonesia.
The decision by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) to build the centre comes after sustained calls for such a facility in Bali, where drug use and addiction has increased significantly in recent years.
At present the only purpose-built drug rehabilitation centre in Indonesia is at Sukabumi in West Java.
Chairman of BNN’s Bali branch Ketut Budiarta told the media that the centre would be built alongside the existing psychiatric hospital in Bangli, where a small rehabilitation programme is currently in operation.
The new facility will have 144 rooms, and building work will start next year, Budiarta said, adding that BNN would fund the project.
Indonesian law allows organised rehabilitation as an alternative to a custodial sentence for convicted drug users, but the lack of facilities means that most addicts end up in overcrowded jails.
“The establishment of a planned drug rehabilitation centre in Bali is urgently needed to ensure that drug users get free treatment and rehabilitation as stated in the law,” Budiarta said.
Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika backed the rehabilitation centre plan, saying it would help tackle rising addiction on the island.
“We don’t have adequate facilities to rehabilitate or treat drug users. It is inhumane to send them to Kerobokan Jail,” Pastika said.
Around 100 addicts are receiving treatment at Bagli’s psychiatric hospital.
“Presently we are treating five drug addicts who were sent by the court to be rehabilitated at our premises. There are a lot of inquiries but we cannot accept them due to a lack of facilities and staff,” hospital director Made Sugiharta said.Filed under: Headlines