Bali’s governor Made Mangku Pastika has expressed the desire to build hospitals in Bali specializing in the treatment of narcotic users. The medical facilities, once built, would help the national government in its efforts to rehabilitate drug users.
As reported by Beritabali.com, the idea was discussed during a meeting between the Governor and the head of the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN), Anang Iskandar, on Thursday, November 21, 2013.
At that meeting, Iskandar declared that the biggest obstacle in his job of leading the Nation’s fight against narcotics is changing the mindset of the public in how they view drug users.
Narcotics users are generally seen in Indonesia as criminals who must be arrested and thrown into jail. BNN want to see this changed so drug users are no longer incarcerated but, instead, sent to rehabilitation centers.
Severe punishment, in Iskandar’s view, should be reserved for drug dealers and couriers.
To provide medical rehabilitation for drug users in Bali cooperative programs need to be established with hospitals in the regions.
The Governor said: “The Provincial Government of Bali is prepared to help facilitate cooperation with hospitals in Bali, although the issue of funding needs to be clarified. Once everything is clear, then BNN can make cooperation agreements with the hospitals.”
Describing the plan for rehabilitative hospitals for narcotic users as part of his future plans for Bali, the Governor said the latest data estimates 55,530 narcotics users are living in Bali and 20,000 of that number are believed to be intravenous drug users who face an added risk of contracting HIV/AIDS
The Governor described the battle against narcotics as a moral responsibility needed to keep Bali safe and peaceful.
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