Emerging trends and concerns

  • Although ATS use has remained relatively stable over the past few years, it has expanded throughout Indo¬nesia, both geographically and demographically. ATS use is especially prevalent among laborers, students and commercial sex workers.
  • There is considerable risk that as ATS use expands in parts of Indonesia which were previously unaffected or where only limited ATS use took place, ATS manufacturers will relocate operations nearer to these emerging markets.
  • A large number of dismantled ATS laboratories in recent years have been small-scale ‘kitchen type’ facilities, often located in residences, which are mobile and can be more easily located near ATS consumer markets. As ATS use expands across the archipelago, the threat of ATS manufacturers relocating operations close to emerging ATS markets is considerable.
  • The large licit requirements of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine for industrial purposes in Indonesia also heighten the risk that these substances may be diverted by drug criminals for illicit ATS manufacture.

Overview of the drug situation

In 2010, the National Narcotics Bureau of Indonesia (BNN) identified crystalline methamphetamine as the primary drug of concern in Indonesia for the first time. While cannabis remains the most widely used illicit drug in Indonesia, crystalline methamphetamine use has expanded continually during the past several years, and in 2010 the drug surpassed cannabis in terms of new treatment admissions and arrests.  Ecstasy, popular with young adults, continues to be the third most widely used illicit drug in Indonesia (BNN and UNODC 2012).

Large-scale illicit ATS manufacture in Indonesia was first reported in 2002, when a highly sophisticated ecstasy manufacturing facility was uncovered in Jakarta. Over the next few years, a small number of crystal¬line methamphetamine manufacturing facilities and ecstasy pill re-pressing operations were dismantled. From 2006 through 2011, 135 ATS laboratories were seized in the country.

Indonesia had an estimated 3.7 million to 4.7 million drug users in 2011, or approximately 2.2% of the total population aged 10-59 years. Of those users, about 1.2 million used crystalline methamphetamine and 950,000 used ecstasy. ATS use is especially prevalent among laborers, students and commercial sex workers. The Indonesian ecstasy market – although comparatively large by regional standards – is limited to nighttime entertainment venues and young Indonesian adults. Crystalline methamphetamine is the second most widely used illicit drug in Indonesia, after cannabis (BNN and PPKUI 2011).

Table 1. Trend in use of selected drugs in Indonesia, 2007-2011

Up to 60% of all crystalline methamphetamine demand in Indonesia is supplied by domestic manufacture. Significant quantities are also trafficked into the country from the Islamic Republic of Iran, China, Malaysia and the Philippines (ARQ 2011 Indonesia; PDEA 2010b). Most ecstasy-type pills in Indonesia are manufactured in the country (about 90%), with the remainder originating primarily from Malaysia and China (ARQ 2011 Indonesia).

Table 2. Seizures of selected drugs in Indonesia, 2007-2011


ARQ 2011 Indonesia. ‘Annual Report Questionnaire for 2010’, Indonesia 2011.

BNN and PPKUI 2011. ‘The economic and social costs due to the misuse of drugs in Indonesia, 2011’ (Studi Kerugian biaya ekonomi dan sosial akibat penyalahgunaan narkoba di Indonesia, 2011), National Narcotics Board of Indonesia (BNN) & National Health Research Center of the University of Indonesia (Puslitkes UI) (PPKUI), Jakarta, 2011.

BNN and UNODC 2012. ‘Indonesia ATS Situation Assessment 2012’, National Narcotics Board of Indonesia (BNN) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), December 2012.

BNN 2011. ‘Journal of Data on the Prevention and Eradication of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2011, Directorate of Drug Crimes, National Police Criminal Investigation, National Narcotics Board of Indonesia (BNN), Jakarta, June 2011.

PDEA 2010b. ‘National Drug Situation’, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), presented at the Fifteenth Asia-Pacific Operational Drug Enforcement Conference (ADEC), Tokyo, 2-5 February 2010.