A look at community-based harm reduction in Indonesia

George started using drugs more than 10 years ago. At the time he lived in Jakarta, Indonesia, and worked as a driver for an international company. About one third of people who inject drugs globally live in the Asia and the Pacific region.

As George’s dependence on drugs became severe, he lost his job and could no longer provide for his wife and young children. “All I could think about was where I would get my next hit. I lied. I stole. I hated myself,” recalled George.

One day George heard about a novel programme based in a large house in Bogor, Indonesia. Rumah Singgah PEKA is a community-based harm reduction programme that aims to empower people who use drugs to take back control of their lives. This photo story chronicles George’s journey.



George is proud of his tattoos which inspire him to stay healthy. Credit: UNAIDS/UNODC/ Ed Wray


Rumah Singgah PEKA is a community-based harm reduction programme. Credit: UNAIDS/UNODC/Ed Wray


Sam Nugraha, Executive Director, PEKA, said, “ PEKA is different from other treatment centres, because it is fully voluntary.” Credit:UNAIDS/UNODC/Ed Wray


PEKA provides a range of services, including group and individual counselling. Credit: UNAIDS/UNODC/Ed Wray


The organization works with public health facilities to help clients access key services. Deni Subhan, Programme Manager at PEKA, often accompanies clients to get their daily dose of methadone.Credit:UNAIDS/UNODC/Ed Wray


Siti Nurfaiza, Programme Manager, Gedung Badak Health Clinic, finds the collaboration with PEKA good. Credit: UNAIDS/UNODC/Ed Wray


Deni Subhan picks up a five-day supply of methadone for clients, who can then access their daily dose at PEKA. Credit:UNAIDS/UNODC/Ed Wray


George has gradually decreased his methadone dose. He now works for PEKA and is once again able to provide for his family. Credit: UNAIDS/ UNODC/ Ed Wray


“All of us are entrusted to make our own decisions. If we wish to make a good decision, the community is here to help.” Credit: UNAIDS/ UNODC/ Ed Wray

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