International NGO Summit

Genam Jogja di International NGO Summit

“Genam Jogja di International NGO Summit?”

Begitulah. Akhirnya mbak Wikan selaku ketua Genam Jogja harus melakukan pertemuan mendadak dengan beberapa pengurus untuk membuat persiapan dalam acara tampil di salah satu sesi “International NGO Summit on the prevention of DRUGS, Tobacco and Alcohol Abuse”. Tentu perlu kumpul malam-malam karena hanya itu waktu yang bisa disediakan oleh para pengurus. Perlu kumpul-kumpul karena makalah yang disampaikan harus dalam bahasa Inggris.

Entah sampai jam berapa tepatnya, tetapi yang jelas makalah akhirnya tuntas tersusun rapi. Silahkan dinikmati makalah di bawah ini.

Mas Isnan Hidayat sedang presentasi
Mas Isnan Hidayat sedang presentasi



According to the 2011 World Health Organization (WHO)’s report 2,5 million people from all over the world died because of alcohol misuse. Youth ranging from age 15-29 made up nine percent of the death. Most of the victims of alcohol abuse in Indonesia in the year 2011 are divided into several age categories, 14-16 years old (47,7%),  17-20 years old (51%) and 21-22 years old (31%) and based on the survey of the Police of the Republic of Indonesia (POLRI)’s research and development center, alcohol and drugs users in Indonesia are dominated by middle and high school students (Taroreh et al., 2013). The data proves that drugs users are mostly people ranging from 15-24 years old, making young generation the main target of illegal drug trade. Meanwhile, Rapid Assessment Respont of Injecting Drugs User (RAR OF IDUS)’s research in 2002 in South Sulawesi proves that 49,9% smoking case and 32,7% alcohol abuse cases happened among college students.

On December 2010 until February 2011, Norwegian Red Cross with the consultation support of Gajah Mada University Faculty of Psychology’s Centre for Public Mental Health (CPMH) conducted a survey in two provinces, Central Java and East Java (Josef & Hidayat, 2011). The survey’s target population is teenagers who are also high school students in big cities. Therefore, the respondents in Central Java are coming from Semarang and Surakarta, while East Java is represented by Surabaya and Malang. The result from the survey shows that almost 5 percent of all respondents consume alcohol. More male students consume alcohol than female students, which is 8.4% by 2.1%. From all four regions, Surabaya has the less alcohol consumers, which is only 7.6% while Semarang has the most in 14.2%. These percentages need serious attention. 6.4% of all respondents drink alcohol, and 13,3% is not drinking at all. There is a big difference between teenage girls and boys on alcohol consumption. For teenage boys 11,2% is drinking alcohol and 24,6% has ever drank alcohol at least once, while for teenage girls only 2,5% is drinking and 4,1% has ever drank alcohol at least once (9,1% for Semarang, 12,5% for Surakarta).

First Challenge: Weak Legal Enforcement

The problems described above need tangible and comprehensive action from various sectors. Indonesia was seen as having a quite thorough set of regulation according to WHO’s report on alcohol abuse countermeasure. For example, producers or official distributors are controlled through government policy. Aside from that, Indonesia also has several formal regulations for time, place, age restriction, taxes, and promotion of alcoholic drinks. However, one thing that should become an attention is that WHO wrote the status of the execution of the regulation and supervision on the ‘rarely’ category. It means that even though there are many regulations from the central and regional government, our enforcement and control are still very weak. The Presidential Regulation No. 74 Year 2013 has even more shown the weak side of the regulation of alcoholic drinks. The regulation is somehow obsolete when there are no strict sanctions and relative when every region is allowed to make a more detailed and specific policy according to their own condition. In a personal manner, this regulation is wise, however, it is legally weak. If the central government is afraid to make strict rules, of course the regional government will not be able to do so as well.

We can take example from Yogyakarta Regional Policy as one of the policy that shows weakness on regulating and controlling alcohol distribution. The last policy ever made on alcohol distribution is the Regulation no.7 year 1953. From every perspective, if a regulation for a very dynamic substance was last made sixty years ago of course it wouldn’t be compatible for a strong legal basis. For example, in this regulation, if someone were to break every rules, they have to pay fine in the amount of Rp 5.000,00. Nowadays, it is a very affordable fine. Age restrictions as one of the key in the attempt of controlling alcoholic drinks distribution, is only an agenda so far. The 21 years old age restriction is not imposed strictly. Young generations can have easy access to alcoholic drinks everywhere. Alcoholic drinks in A-category, which can be distributed under supervision according to Presidential Regulation, can open the chance for the breaching of regulation when it is not imposed entirely.

According to the data of the Ministry of Trade, there are growing numbers of alcoholic drinks import to Indonesia in the last few years. In 2007, the alcoholic drinks import has reached 28.690 boxes. The amount has risen significantly to 143.668 boxes in 2008. Finally in 2009, the amount skyrocketed to 279.052 boxes. In the last two years it has doubled in the amount. Countries such as Turkey and Thailand are able to constrict the alcoholic drinks sale in particular time. However, in Indonesia, alcoholic drinks trade does not know the boundaries of age, time, and region. Government has yet to do any breakthrough in restricting alcoholic drinks. Both government and the House of Representative are not serious enough in this matter, as the Bill on Alcoholic Drinks is placed 63th out of 70 bills in the national legislation program (prolegnas) in House of Representative (Republika Online).

Complexity of the Culture: the Permissive Society

Challenges around the non-committal attitude of the government regarding strict policy making on the control of alcoholic drinks are accompanying the second challenge which is also quite complex in the attempt of alcohol countermeasure. It is a fact that the definition of alcohol is not limited only for a factory-produced alcoholic drinks where the production and the distribution is in the trade system under government’s supervision. One of the complexities in the challenge of alcohol regulation is the widespread various types of alcoholic local products which is rarely fall under the supervision and regulation of the government. WHO (2002) mentioned in its report that the attempt of alcohol prevention in Southeast Asia is often restrained by local alcohol products that often contain more dangerous substance.

Empowering Teenagers, A Third Alternative Movement

When we come to the fact that government as the key holder of the alcohol regulation has yet to take the role, society become too permissive with the relation of alcohol and their culture, then there is a need for the third alternative movement that may be able to become the solution. Teenagers are in the center of the problem in the alcohol abuse, yet we also need to realize that when they are the problem then they are also the solution.

According to Santrock (2007), teenagers are in the transitional condition from parent oriented to peer oriented. Teenage period is where the aspect of peer communication as one of the main functions in developing personality and decision making orientation. It means that when we want to change the condition of the teenagers, the ones who will be able to take the role optimally are the teenagers themselves. For teenagers, there are no other trusted figures in sharing stories and giving solutions other than their peers. Teenagers as source of problem and source of solution mindset is often developed from what in the world of psychology is a concept called constructivist and applied in student centered learning. The application in the attempt to prevent and regulate alcoholic drinks can be used in changing the mindset that teenagers are the object to the teenagers are the subject of change. They are the main actors with us as the facilitators.

This recommendation to empower teenagers is adapted from the concept of Universal Intervention developed by Christner & Menutti (2010) who divided the intervention system for emerging mental problems into several parts, which are: universal intervention as strengthening medium for most population, specific intervention for certain vulnerable aspect of society and targeted intervention for those who start to have the problem, until crisis center for those who are suffering for acute cases and in need of special assistance. Firstly we need a mapping of the percentage of population who fall into the intervention category and its needs. After obtaining the profile of teenagers’ population, we can execute the universal intervention as the main drive of alcohol prevention. Seeing how the attempts are often focused mostly on certain problematic population, this paradigm on universal intervention attempt is becoming crucial for sustainable prevention.

The main problem that we will get if universal intervention was to become obsolete is that the teenagers will continuously become the object of the problem, while no agent of changes are going to emerge as people who we need to empower to spread positive things for their peers. Therefore, the universal intervention concept is adapting the most basic of alcohol prevention, which is inviting teenagers to become aware of the problem around them and continuously engaging them into positive activities as an attempt to ward off the negative influences. The main point is, if positive attitude and activities are continuously being promoted by themselves, then the negative activity such as drinking alcohol has no place in their life. They will have no time for negative activity if they were busy with positive ones.

The following are examples of the strategies implementing that can have a positive influence on the youth culture regarding alcohol and other drug abuse (Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, 2008):

  1. Forming partnerships with local communities to ensure that alcohol is not served to students;
  2. Strengthening academic requirements;
  3. Keeping the library and recreational facilities open longer;
  4. Eliminating alcohol industry support any youth programs.
  5. Restricting alcohol promotions and advertising on youth, especially promotions or ads that feature low-cost drinks;
  6. Monitoring fraternities to ensure compliance with alcohol policies and laws;
  7. Providing a wide range of alcohol-free social and recreational activities;
  8. Disciplining repeat offenders and those who engage in unacceptable behavior associated with substance use;
  9. Notifying parents when students engage in serious or repeated violations of alcohol or other drug policies or laws; and
  10. Launching a media campaign to inform students about the actual amount of drinking that occurs on their environment, since most students overestimate the number of their classmates who drink and the amount that they drink.

If positive activities above can be consistently executed, it is not impossible that in the future, social movements on alcohol countermeasure is initiated and strengthened by the young generation who is so far is only positioned as object. In the lack of the power of the bureaucracy to prevent alcohol distribution among the teenagers and the permissiveness of the society, new hope emerges instead from the teenagers. They have the potential to reject the distribution of alcohol even though it is not restricted and society gives no attention to it. This is the third movement that will become the most efficient and effective alternative for the alcohol prevention program: converting the object of the movement as the subject.


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