Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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“Fit on the Body, Fit for the Pocket”: Internal Code, Effect of Chemical Use, and Trial Practices among Youth in Maros, South Sulawesi
Muhaiminatul Ajriani

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 523
Date: 2019-07-26 08:00 AM – 09:30 AM
Last modified: 2019-06-21


The misuse of prescription drugs for non-medical problems is increasingly widespread. Such users are dominated by youth, and this is not ​​only spread in big cities, but also in districts level, such as Maros.

The research findings show that the drug is not only used for fun, but also as a form of solidarity among their peers. In such practice, confidentiality is the main concern. Therefore, they use certain codes, which includes codes of products, actors and activities. The product code consists of four categories: harkos (for glue), ocang (for psychotropic), pulsa (for shabu) and getok (for marijuana). The actor code consists of five categories, consisting of "doctors" (who offer products), patients (product buyers), and those who offer services, such as launchers ("doctors’" re-sellers), couriers, and banpol (police spies). The code for activities are varied according to the purpose (i.e. to invite for using chemicals, to ask about availability of the products). Hierarchically, harkos users are in the lowest hierarchy (cheap drunkenness), followed by ocang users. Pulsa users ranks in the top hierarchy, considering that the drugs included in this category is narcotics and are relatively more expensive than the other two types of products. In the process of finding suitable products, they experiment various kind of products. Factors such as expected effect, social environment, and financial conditions play an important role in the selection of products. Some switch from one product to another because such products have been socially known. Others products suitable for the body, but not suitable for the pocket, and therefore they mix two types of cheap products to get the same effect from one type of expensive drug. The best product is one which "fit on the body, fit for the pocket".