Interplay Between Culture And Substance Abuse

Interplay Between Culture And Substance Abuse

The Interplay Between Culture And Substance Abuse

Culture and substance abuse are inherently linked. A person's culture affects risk factors associated with substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health issues. In some cases, cultural beliefs can lead to damaging stigmas. According to the Annals of Indian Psychiatry, “Stigma, in its various forms, can act as a barrier to treatment.” Samarpan Recovery educates individuals and families to reduce the spread of cultural stigmas that may otherwise affect a person's ability to access quality treatment

The Relationship Between Culture And Substance Misuse

A person's culture influences how they respond to mental health symptoms and the side effects of substance misuse. In addition, cultural expectations and norms often affect how a client feels about their diagnosis and beliefs about rehabilitation.

Some individuals and families have a limited understanding of how recovery works. Within their cultural context, they may perceive treatment as unnecessary or as a "cure." However, treatment is neither of these extremes. Instead, it is one step of the recovery process and provides clients with the tools they need to establish and maintain healthy routines.

Culture and substance abuse relate in the following ways:

  • Social drinking in some cultures increases the risk of dependency and addiction

  • Mental health stigmas may reduce access to treatment and increase the risk of self-medication using prescription or illicit drugs

  • Maladaptive family dynamics can lead to enabling behaviours that turn compulsions or dependency into addictive SUD

Indian culture and substance abuse are interrelated, as culture may cause some families to avoid seeking help out of shame or fear of being judged. Families may also unintentionally enable their loved ones and facilitate addictive behaviours. The relationship between family, culture and substance abuse disorder is complicated and often requires various levels of care to treat effectively.

Respecting The Nuances Of Indian Culture During Recovery

Healthcare providers and therapists need to respect Indian culture when treating individuals in recovery. In many cases, this involves including extended family in the treatment process by educating them about the realities of SUD and informing them of how best to support their loved one.

 According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, “Culture is constantly in the process of change and it is transmitted from one generation to the next.” Providing families with education and context for substance misuse and mental health issues encourages a more positive social response in future generations. Samarpan Recovery is one of the best addiction recovery programs where clients and their families can feel comfortable and respected during treatment.

How Culture Impacts Experiences And Recovery Expectations

According to Obi Unaka, Deputy Director of Residential Services at Samarpan Recovery, “[W]e are very much aware of the benefits of treating our clients in the context of the culture in which they are from. Adopting a pure Western approach to treatment in India will do a disservice to the Indian client as he/she will be returning back to the family in which every member plays a significant role. As much as possible, in treatment, we try to duplicate and mirror the community in which the wider and extended family members are involved thereby creating the opportunity for learning how a supportive network is of benefit to long-term recovery.”

Samarpan Learns From The Families We Help

According to Martin Peters, Director of Residential Services of Samarpan Recovery, “As therapists, all of us have a responsibility to be culturally competent in the work that we do. As part of Samarpan's plan to work towards CARF accreditation, cultural competency is an important aspect of the standards of care that [we] required to be delivered.”

“Our clinical team, whilst having an international flavour has a strong understanding of Indian culture and and substance abuse dynamics and it is one of the reasons . . . we have a family program and offer family support groups, and also for us to understand the varying cultural nuances that are different depending on where clients come from.”

Samarpan Recovery became one of the top rehab centres for addiction recovery by listening to clients and meeting their unique needs. The best addiction recovery programs always focus heavily on collaboration and evidence-based care.

Cultural Sensitivity And Long-Term Recovery

Long-term recovery often requires the support of family and friends. Cultural sensitivity ensures that clinicians connect on a deeper level with clients and their families. The care team takes into consideration the context of cultural beliefs and expectations.

A client's view of their progress often determines the success of long-term recovery. For example, some people may have a culture heavily influenced by religious beliefs. In those instances, substance misuse and recovery may be framed within the context of supernatural forces, affecting how the client chooses to address their disorder. In this way, the client’s culture and substance abuse recovery are intertwined.

Practicing cultural sensitivity reduces miscommunication, confusion, and ambivalence. During rehabilitation, the clinical team considers the following aspects of a client's culture:

  • Expected behaviours

  • Values

  • Customs

  • Roles

  • Rituals

  • Relationships

Samarpan Recovery, one of the top rehabilitation centres in India, educates clients and their families on recovery and treatment options. The clinical team uses culturally sensitive personalized treatment to help clients heal, grow, and thrive in recovery. Clients in treatment learn to use aspects of their culture and family support to maintain positive changes.

Personal beliefs about substance misuse, treatment programs, and long-term recovery are tied to cultural traditions. Samarpan Recovery understands the importance of providing support within the context of a client's culture and unique circumstances. During treatment at our facility, clients and their families will collaborate with the care team to ensure the client feels safe and respected throughout the treatment process. We understand that various cultural beliefs can sometimes interfere with treatment, and our team ensures all clients are properly informed of their treatment options. We believe all clients should have an opportunity to make an informed decision. To learn more about our top addiction recovery programs, call our office today at +91 81809 19090.

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