Drugs 101: Indonesia’s Law on Drugs


In Indonesia, the law regulating drugs are divided into several categories: Narcotics, Psychotropics, and Pharmaceutical Precursors. The definition given by Regulation of the Minister of Health Number 25 of 2023 on Narcotics, Psychotropics, and Pharmaceutical Precursors (“Regulation of the Minister of Health 25/2023”), Article 1 states that Narcotics are substances or drugs which can cause a decrease or change in consciousness, loss of taste, reduce or eliminate pain, and can cause dependence. While, Article 2 defines Pshchotropics as substances/raw materials or drugs, non-narcotics, which have psychoactive properties through selective influence on the central nervous system which causes characteristic changes in mental activity and behavior. And finally, Article 3 of the same regulation provides that Pharmaceutical Precursors means substances or starting materials or chemicals that can be used as raw/auxiliary materials for the purposes of the Pharmaceutical production process products that contain some specific substances*.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the definition of Narcotics and Psychotropics as well as it categorizations to start off in our journey to understand the law on drugs here in Indonesia.

*) Note: The substances mentioned include: ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norephedrine/phenylpropanolamine, ergotamine, ergometrine, or potassium permanganate.

Drugs Classification

Regulation of the Minister of Health Number 30 of 2023 on Changes In the Classification of Narcotics (“Regulation of the Minister of Health 30/2023”) and Law Number 5 of 1997 on Psychotropics (“Law 5/1997”), regulate Narcotics and Psychotropics, each into three classes.

Narcotics Classifications

Taking reference from Regulation of the Minister of Health 30/2023, there are three narcotics classifications:

Narcotics Class I

Narcotics Class I includes drugs that are prohibited from being used for general health services. However, in certain cases, the drugs classified as such can still be used in limited quantities as long as it is used for the purposes of the development of science and technology as well as for diagnostic and laboratory reagents, and after obtaining approval from the Minister on the recommendation of the Head of the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency.

Narcotics Class II

The drugs classified into the Narcotics Class II category, includes medicinal properties which have a high potential of causing dependency that are ONLY used as a last resort as well as for therapy and/or for scientific development purposes. Requirements that need to be fulfilled for parties who are planning to take or distribute these drugs must have valid proof of ownership and administration of the narcotics.

Narcotics Class III

The drugs consisted in Class III has the same requirements as the prior classifications. However, the drugs in this category have lesser risk of dependency in comparison with its predecessors.

Note: Take a look at contents within the Regulation of the Minister of Health 30/2023 for further details regarding the drugs and substances that are prohibited.

Psychotropics Classifications

Taking reference from Law 5/1997, there are four psychotropics classifications:

Psychotropics Class I

The psychotropics in this class contain potent substances that can lead to high dependency. Hence it can ONLY be used for general health services and scientific means and cannot be used for therapy purposes.

Psychotropics Class II

Psychotropics in this category contain strong substances which can lead to dependancy, however, these drugs just as well, include substantial medicinal properties and is often used in therapeutic and/or scientific purposes.

Psychotropics Class III

Psychotropics in this category contain intermediate substances which can lead to dependancy. It is allowed to be used as therapeutic and/or scientific purposes.

Psychotropics Class IV

The psychotropics in this classification contains small amounts of substances which can lead to dependency, but also containing substantial medicinal properties. Hence it is used widely for the purposes of therapy and/or scientific means.


This article covers the general basis that you’d need to know when diving deep into the drugs regulatory system in Indonesia. Stay tune to our social media and website to get your next update regarding this issue!


Laws and Regulations
  • Law Number 5 of 1997 on Psychotropics
  • Regulation of the Minister of Health Number 25 of 2023 on Narcotics, Psychotropics, and Pharmaceutical Precursors
  • Regulation of the Minister of Health Number 30 of 2023 on Changes In the Classification of Narcotics



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