Culture and Substance Abuse

Culture is defined in many ways. Based on Dwight Health, “Culture is a system of patterns of belief and behavior that shape the worldview of the member of the society. As such, it serves as a guide for action, a cognitive map, and a grammar for behavior.”

In general, substance abuse is related with the alcohol and illicit drugs. Illicit drug will consider culturally and change between different social groups. Substance use and abuse are depended on sociocultural beliefs. Culture plays an important role on affecting individuals about the potential problems they may face with drug use.

For the cultural group who have little exposure to a drug, rapid social changes exceed substance abuse. Such as, Anomie, or called loss of a healthy ethnic or cultural identity, may occur among native populations whose cultures have been devastated by the extensive and sudden influx of outside influence.

Substance use and abuse are related to an individual identity with his or her native culture. For example, native American elders believe that substance abuse are caused  by the loss of traditional culture. Higher rates of substance use have been found in persons who closely identify with non-Native American values and the lowest rates are found in bicultural individuals who are comfortable with both sets of cultural values.






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