Crystal meth: piloting Harm Reduction for shabu users in Indonesia

Crystal meth is a popular drug in Indonesia. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of people who use meth, locally known under the street name shabu.

However, so far, harm reduction services don’t target meth users. Mainline and local partner Karisma started an innovative pilot in Indonesia to change this.

Increased risk of HIV infection
The reason why Mainline finds it important to develop interventions that target this group of people who use drugs (PWUD) is that the research conducted by the Atma Jaya University in Jakarta shows that Shabu users are at increased risk of HIV infection and other STIs. This is true whether people snort, smoke or inject their drugs.

The research also showed that Crystal meth users avoid existing HIV intervention programmes in Indonesia. They associate these services with heroin users and don’t identify with them. 

Read the complete article: 'Crystal meth: piloting harm reduction for shabu users in Indonesia'.

Read here the research report 'Crystal meth in Indonesia'

At the kick-off of the pilot project in Jakarta, Mainline’s trainer visited the selected project sites together with the outreach team. A training was organised to provide information about crystal meth to the newly formed team at Karisma. It addressed the effects and possible routes of administration of the drug and the associated health risks.

A short report from Mainline’s trainer:
“Together with the team, we created a new Harm reduction package for people who use Shabu.
In addition, we looked into various way of approaching meth users. Jakarta has many hidden communities and it might be difficult to build the trustful relationship that is needed. It was exciting to see how enthusiastic and open the team was to new ideas and how they used their previous experience to make this pilot a success.

This pilot will surely meet many challenges and we won’t ‘get it right’ at the first go. However, having seen the team, working with them and having experienced their flexibility, we are sure that we can reach the clients and provide the help that they need, want and deserve.”

Copyright Mainline 2022. Webdesign by Studio Odilo Girod, hosting & CMS by Blogbird.