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The Trip to Nobody Knows Where

In 2011, the Indonesian Government issued the Government Regulation Number 25 Year 2011 regarding the Implementation of the Compulsory Report of Drug Dependents which regulates the practice of compulsory report and rehabilitation for drug users in Indonesia. By this regulation, Indonesia produced a new institution called the Compulsory Report Institution (Institusi Penerima Wajib Lapor or usually abbreviated as IPWL). This institution is not only the place where drug users can access treatment, but also the place to note, gather, and process the data of drug users.

Looking at its importance, there is a need to understand the implementation of compulsory report and its effect on drug users’ life. This research attempts to explore how the compulsory report system has addressed drug users’ human rights. Besides that, this research also tries to assess the effectiveness of IPWL according to the client’s need.

This research finds that although the program is called compulsory report, many drug users felt that they joined the program voluntarily. There are several exception cases when drug users’ family or friends forced the drug users to enter treatment. The information of transition from a rehabilitation center to a compulsory report institution is sometimes inaccessible for drug users, making them feel coerced to join IPWL institution. There are shameful approaches also done by the IPWL institution to get patients, like offering the patients money or tricking potential drug users to become patients.

The issue of voluntarily could not be separated from the issue of accessibility of information. Although many drug users testified that they join the program voluntarily, the majority of them did not know the kind of treatment that is offered. The information that is more accessible for them is the knowledge of the warranty that the program participants will not be prosecuted, therefore some patients joins the IPWL program merely to avoid prosecution.

Relating to other element of accessibility, the majority of drug users said that the compulsory report institutions are physically accessible for them. There is, however, special concern for drug users who live in remote area where do not have drug treatment provider or ARV treatment provider. For some drug users also, the compulsory report institutions are not accessible due to the limited work-hours of the IPWL institution which does not accommodate clients who have regular jobs or educations.

The price of treatment for IPWL patients are different one another. The disparity of price happens between cities, between IPWL institutions in one city, and even between clients in one IPWL institution. The regulation which does not specify the price of treatment and gives the district government the authority to control the price make the disparity of IPWL payment.

In term of the quality of drug treatment in IPWL, this research finds four problems, which are: some IPWL institution could not give appropriate measure for drug users in withdrawal phase, the problem of medicine supply, the hard mechanism to lower IPWL clients’ methadone dosage, and other problems in social IPWL institution. Albeit these problems, the majority of clients were satisfied with the politeness and patience of the doctor or nurse in IPWL institutions.

Since drug users who join IPWL program are clients and in the process of treatment they submit their personal information to IPWL institution, the compulsory report system must then addresses their right to information and right to privacy carefully. In the aspect of right to information and right to privacy, this research finds that some clients did not get or were not explained the treatment plan. Though the clients are relatively comfortable sharing information with the health workers of the IPWL institution, there are cases showing that their personal information has been breached.

Many drug users access IPWL treatment when they still have a job or take education. The working hours of IPWL institution hinder some of them to fulfil their right to work and education. There is also other challenges where IPWL clients are still stigmatized and discriminated in workplace or education institution. The IPWL policy has not been promoted enough to other parties which may have strong influence to the clients’ life.

Because it is important for drug users to feel comfortable while get treatment, this research tries to find whether there are violence and discrimination in IPWL program. This research can only finds several examples of violence and discrimination against IPWL clients when accessing IPWL treatment, from either IPWL providers or other IPWL clients. However, this research also finds that IPWL system help some clients in reducing stigma they received from the family or society.

Another serious human right violation found in this research is criminalization of drug use. While many drug user perceived IPWL registration as a guarantee that they would not be prosecuted, many of them still prosecuted in practices. The IPWL institution has small role when a client is arrested, resulting in many clients felt disappointed with both the IPWL institution and IPWL program.

Indonesia’s drug policy use the perspective of abstinence to handle drug dependency. This research proves that IPWL program will not be effective if the purpose of treatment is only to achieve abstinence because the majority of IPWL clients use drugs again after they have accessed treatment. Some drug users also believe that the IPWL program would not run effectively if the patient join program involuntarily. Lastly, the IPWL program is not effective because many IPWL clients are still prosecuted and punished, a way that has been proved damaging drug users’ health condition.

The title of this report, “The Trip to Nobody Knows Where”, is inspired by the title of Uli M. Schüppel’s movie “The Road to God Knows Where”, a documentary about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 1989 tour of America. Compulsory report program was designed to overcome Indonesia’s drug problem, but in practice all parties that involve in the program see the program’s objective in different ways. For example, relating with criminalization of drug use, drug users perceive the IPWL program as a safe card from law enforcement agencies, the law enforcement agencies persistently state that IPWL clients could still be prosecuted, while the IPWL providers want to help drug users in criminalization but their role are limited. This different ways and interests in viewing the objective of IPWL program makes nobody could not predict the end situation that will be created by IPWL policy. Therefore, the researchers find that this title, “The Trip to Nobody Knows Where”, suits with the current situation.

You can download this report from this link.

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