Perspectives on Substance Use, Disorders and Addiction, Second Edition, is a philosophical and clinical text that suggests new ways to think about the relationships, enjoyment, and troubles with substances of pleasure. The book is designed for students and clinicians who come in contact with and treat individuals and families struggling with the causes and consequences of substance use disorders and addiction. The second edition of Perspectives presents a refreshing blend of ancient and contemporary ideas on the natural pleasures and potential powers of alcohol and drugs in our everyday individual and collective lives.

Cultural Stories

Cultural Stories

Introduction

This chapter encourages exploration of the influences of our individual cultural histories on the seemingly universal human desire to escape and expand consciousness with the help of drugs and alcohol. It also further delves into the impacts of globalization discussed in Chapter 3. Our cultural backgrounds, almost more than our globalized social context, shape our feelings, behaviors, and viewpoints. Our thinking about the adaptive uses, misuses, and addictions to these substances, as well as our denials and judgments about them, runs deep. It is important to identify the historical and generational forces that drive our current drinking and drugging behaviors. It is clinically useful and personally helpful to recognize these covert and overt influences in our patients and in ourselves.

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