• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Substance use and abuse are two of the most frequent psychological problems clinicians encounter. Mainstream approaches focus on the biological and psychological factors supporting drug abuse. But to fully comprehend the issue, clinicians need to consider the social, historical, and cultural factors responsible for drug-related problems. Substance Use and Abuse: Cultural and Historical Perspectives provides an inclusive explanation of the human desire to take drugs. Using a multidisciplinary framework, authors Russil Durrant and Jo Thakker explore the cultural and historical variables that contribute to drug use. Integrating biological, psychosocial, and cultural-historical perspectives, this innovative and accessible volume addresses the fundamental question of why drug use is such a ubiquitous feature of human society.

Conceptualizing and Treating Substance Use Problems: A Cultural-Historical Perspective
Conceptualizing and treating substance use problems: A cultural-historical perspective

Classification schemes for mental disorders have shown substantial variation during the past 100 years. Diagnostic categories have been removed, added, and revised in significant ways. For example, slaves who absconded from their masters were said to be afflicted with “drapetomania,” children could suffer from “childhood masturbation disorder,” and women might endure “lack of vaginal orgasm” (Wakefield, 1992). Of course, it is not the disorders themselves that have arisen only to disappear with the passing of time, but it is our perception of what constitutes a mental disorder that has changed. Mental disorders are in part social constructions, which are influenced in important ways by specific social and cultural ...

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