Sat, 02 Dec 2000

Thirteen have died of drug abuse in 3 months

JAKARTA (JP): Thirteen people have died from drugs overdose over the last three months, a senior doctor at the Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital says, describing the statistic as alarming.

Agus Purwadianto, the head of Forensic Department at the hospital said on Friday that the victims had little knowledge about drugs.

Data made available by the hospital morgue indicated that the 13 victims were between 20 and 35 years of age.

From January to August this year, a total of 36 people have died due to overdoses.

Agus said that the number might be higher as people are reluctant to report a relative's death due to drugs.

There have been times when a drug user has died in an orgy with some friends, he said. "Unfortunately, the friends have no knowledge of giving first aid. Worse they usually abandon the dead buddy."

The senior doctor said most of the victims were from poor and uneducated families. "Perhaps, they had never received education about drugs," he said.

He said education on the dangers of drugs use was very important to prevent people from drug abuse.

"The junkies usually try to increase the amount of drugs they are able to take from time to time to get what they call satisfaction, without being aware that they have been trapped in a death game," said Agus, who is also the chairman of the Jakarta Chapter of the Indonesian Medical Doctors Association (IDI).

"Their bodies are shocked when receiving more and more dangerous substances until a certain point when their bodies can no longer tolerate the drugs."

Agus criticized the government for its sluggishness in dealing with drug abuse, especially among youths.

"The government has failed to coordinate among all resources to wage war against drugs. Therefore, many non-governmental organizations initiate programs to curb the problem," he said, citing the Anti Drug Movement (Granat) as an example. (asa)