Khalid Mouna: The Process of Becoming Heroin Users in Northern Morocco. An Anthropological Perspective


This article investigates heroin use in northern Morocco through ethnographic work, exploring the trajectory by mobilizing the concept of becoming in three distinct phases: becoming addicted, becoming sick, and becoming a patient. Starting from the practices and discourses of the actors, we seek to understand how individuals think about their addiction, and the place of their local culture in their self-definitions. The term “junkie” is used by the users to qualify their practice and social conditions, as a kind of auto-stigma. We also explore how heroin users pragmatically adhere to the medical approach to re-establish their link to society, defining themselves as sick, and then as a patient. “Becoming” is a vanishing line in the sense of Deleuze and Guattari, a dynamic of social exclusion that offers possibilities of resistance. This work shows the ability of this population to bend the rules, but also to reinvest the codes of society to recreate a new “becoming”

[Morocco, addiction, to become, heroin, sick, patient]