Drug Use Disorders: Cultural Factors

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), defines drug use disorders as pathological substance use over which the user has limited control, that results in functional impairment, that occurs despite the possibility of harm, and that may be associated with physiological dependence. In addition to recognizing the behavioral signs, it is also important to consider cultural factors when determining whether substance use by a given individual is normative or pathological. For example, peyote, which contains the hallucinogen mescaline, used by Huichol Native Americans as part of their religious rituals, is considered normative; however, recreational use, whether by a Native or non-Native American, is likely to be problematic. The current entry addresses the definition of culture as well as how culture ...

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