"In my record, more than 50 percent of prison inmates in large cities are drug users," Yasonna said when opening a forum of discussion drug control here on Wednesday.
He cited, Jakarta has 17,513 convicts in prisons and 78 percent of them are serving jail terms for drug related crimes.
"So many classical crimes combined are smaller than drug in number of cases. Something is wrong in this; what is wrong with us," he said.
He went on to say there are 1,042 prison inmates in the country infected with HIV because of drug and 52 other inmates carry AIDs disease believed to have been transmitted through inoculation.
According to the Directorate General of Socialization by December 2018, prison houses in the country have a capacity of only 16,000 inmates as against the total number of 255,407 inmates.
Director General of Socialization Sri Puguh Budi Utami said the largest number or 97,835 of the prison inmates were drug convicts, rising from 73,168 convicts in 2017.
"Therefore, I agree that addicts should be sent only to rehabilitation centers," she added.
Reporting by Maria Rosari, Albert Saragoj