Home Institution

University of Colorado At Boulder

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change


When developing countries begin to work their way towards a more recognizable and first world standpoint, there are always certain social issues that must be worked out and addressed. While Indonesia is still considered a third world country, the nation is developing through its gradually increasing economy and booming tourism industry. As any other nation does in its initial stages of expansion, Indonesia has reached a major turning point in which the social issues that have plagued the country for decades must finally be attended to. Politicians, public officers, and local citizens are speaking out against injustices, inequalities, and concerning matters with the current state of their country.

One of the affairs that has begun to raise uneasiness throughout all of Indonesia can be found in both villages and major cities, between the youth and the old: drug use and addiction. Mind-altering substances have existed within Indonesia for centuries, but the last few decades have seen a sharp increase in the number of drug users, deaths resulting from drug related overdoses, and crimes caused by illegal substance possession, smuggling, dealing, and using. While penalizations for such crimes are quite severe, the number of drug users and smugglers has continued to increase. In order to address the issue of drug addiction in Indonesia to a point in which the problem is minimal or declining, we must first understand the social aspects that cause this problem to exist. Why has the use of narcotics continued to rise despite the Indonesian government’s efforts to halt drug use? How has drug use spread throughout this developing country so quickly, and what are the consequences that result from widespread drug use? Has tourism played a major role in the increase in drug use? And lastly, if the Indonesian government is not succeeding in its efforts to stop drug addiction, which at this point seems to be 5 the case, how else can drug addicts find the resources and motivation required to quit abusing narcotics?


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion | Substance Abuse and Addiction


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