Culture plays a significant role in drug and substance abuse. By definition, culture refers to a structure of patterns of character and belief that normally shape the worldview and perception of an individual in the society. Substance abuse on the other hand is the abuse of alcohol as well as other drugs, mainly the illicit drugs. However, the culture predetermines what is considered illicit and can differ across various communities. Numerous culturally distinct communities have consistently used and abused drugs especially alcohol for a long period of time establishing a code of character in their perception on alcohol and drugs.
When taking into considerations the link between cultural aspect and substance abuse, a significant number of influences, variables and phenomena come into play. There are a variety of cultural stressors and factors associated with these aspects and that hold the potential of increasing drug and substance abuse. Medics ought to be sensitive and cautious to these cultural variations through proper understanding, cultural awareness as well as applying nonjudgmental means in assisting their clients (Shen, 2014).
In reality, the beliefs held by a person in a certain community tend to influence their behavior and approaches to drug and substance use and abuse. Culture takes the center stage in the formation of personal expectations on the potential challenges one may face due to drug and substance abuse (“Reaching for cultural competence,” 2013). A good instance is the ancient Aztecs using alcohol before the white settlers came. They highly regulated use of alcohol and reserved it for ceremonial purposes only. The community strictly forbade the use of alcohol on non-ceremonial purposes and had enacted a death penalty for anyone who disobeyed the rule.
Eras of rapid social change may result to initiation as well as excess substance abuse especially among cultural groups whose experience and exposure to drugs is little and limited. Such communities often lack protective normative behavior which can assist them in coping with the situation. Native populations may experience anomie, also described as the loss of a healthy cultural or ethnic identity as a result of devastation of their cultures by the rapid and sudden influx of the external influence and manipulation.
In nursing, cultural competence is required; this is the caring of patients that have a different language and or cultural background from yours with the right attitude, necessary knowledge and skill-set. Cultural competence is required by the nursing standards of command for nursing education (Smith, 2013).
Nursing care has with many years gone through a lot of stimuli, and thus it has evolved as well as adapted. The range of incentives includes; the invention of a new treatment, development of very pure technical systems, shifts in popular norms and expectations in the diverse society as well as other significant discoveries in medical and pharmaceutical treatments (Harkess&Kaddoura, 2015).
Cultural competence helps the nurses and medics bond with their patients. It makes it possible for the nurses to address the patients while at the same time upholding and embracing their cultural beliefs and practices. Some patients may have their perceptions of treatment and medicines and it is significant for nurses and medic practitioners to adopt them.
Harkess, L., &Kaddoura, M. (2015). Culture and Cultural Competence in Nursing Education and Practice: The State of the Art. Nursing Forum, 51(3), 211-222. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nuf.12140
Reaching for cultural competence. (2013). Nursing, 43(6), 37-38. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.nurse.0000431039.75689.f2
Shen, Z. (2014). Cultural Competence Models and Cultural Competence Assessment Instruments in Nursing.Journal Of Transcultural Nursing, 26(3), 308-321. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1043659614524790
Smith, L. (2013). Reaching for cultural competence.Nursing, 43(6), 30-37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.nurse.0000429794.17073.87