If it must be banned, BNN will abide by the government's decision that is made based on the research findings
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Narcotics Agency (BNN) revealed on Thursday that it is coordinating with its counterparts in Singapore and Malaysia to devise follow-up policies for banning the distribution of "kratom."

BNN chief Marthinus Hukom told local journalists that coordinating with the two neighboring countries is necessary to ascertain their reasons for banning Mitragyna speciosa (Rubiaceae), which is commonly known as kratom.

Information gathered from the coordination would be taken into account while formulating a policy to address this tropical tree-related issue, he added.

As a law enforcement agency in Indonesia, BNN will abide by any regulation or policy the government makes by referring to research findings, Hukom said.

"In principle, we are awaiting the research outcomes. If it must be banned, BNN will abide by the government's decision that is made based on the research findings," he added.

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Kratom has been in the spotlight after the BNN-Garut District Office exposed the abuse of this tropical tree by several local students.

According to the district office's head, Deni Yusdanial, students' misuse of kratom needs to be prevented.

Indonesia remains vulnerable to cases related to drug abuse.

A joint survey conducted by BNN and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in 2019 pegged the number of drug users in Indonesia at over 3.4 million.

The survey conducted in 34 provinces indicated that about 180 out of every 10 thousand Indonesians in the age group of 15 to 64 years were addicted to drugs.

The users of crystal methamphetamine, narcotics, marijuana, and other types of addictive drugs can belong to any community and socioeconomic and cultural background.

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Translator: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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