Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay

Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay

TOPIC: Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions

           PART A

  1. Briefly discuss the definition of addictions.
  2. Provide a brief history of your assigned topic. With back ground information.
  3. Give examples of the addictions involving your topic.
  4. Discuss the topic to the extent to provide your fellow students with new learning of your assigned topic.
  5. Focus on what is new and cutting edge research.


Include a social work perspective that addresses the relevance/appropriateness of social work practice to your issues. Some questions that are important, but not exclusive follow:



  • With all the knowledge, available today, why do people still use addictive substances?
  • Why should the profession of social work be concerned about this issue?
  • How would you as a social worker use your skills (micro, mezzo, and macro) to begin addressing this problem? (Private troubles to public issues….families communities, etc.)

Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions


The compulsive and habitual need to engage in an activity or consume a substance is often perceived as the genesis of any addiction. The latter is known to initially begin as a pleasurable experience that in turn develops into a craving that is highly destructive and uncontrollable Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay. The common denominator with all types of addictions is the fact that the victim is never in control of the situation. This is why it ends up overwhelming them to an extent where they are absolutely incapable of steering their lives forward. This is evidenced in the manner that people who struggle with addictions are capable of doing anything within their power or jurisdiction to obtain the substance they crave. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

The society pegs a lot of negative labels on people who are addicted to a substance, behavior or even tendency. This is because most people who fall prey to this habit are viewed as outcasts who are not fit to interact with others in the community. This is why it is vital and essential to have social workers in every community so that they can handle the plight of the victims who struggle with addictions on a daily basis. Social workers have a plethora of experience when it comes to dealing with different types of cultural problems and challenges. As such, they are better placed to understand the immediate needs of an addict at any point in time.      Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay     It is also essential to emphasize that addictions do not involve alcohol or drugs alone, but they also stretch to internet, social media, shopping and even cyber related addictions. The overall similarity with all of them is the fact that they impact negatively on a person’s behavior and their ability to control the situation. This paper is a two-part essay that elaborates on the types of addictions and the relevance of social work perspectives on addressing this problem.


Essay Topic

Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions.



  1. i) Part A

Discussion of the Types of Addictions with Relevant Examples

The assertion that addictions have invaded and infiltrated the society is highly authentic as evidenced by the number of people whose lives have been cut short by it. Addictions can be described as conditions that are brought about by a faulty and defective volition where a person chooses to indulge in an activity that result in very wayward and negative consequences.  (Bach et al, 2016). What’s more, the majority of addictions are known to come about due to a cognitive inability and impairment such that the victim does not realize their brain function is not synchronized with their routine behavior. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

The mention of the term addiction in a public setting is often believed to be inclined towards substance or alcohol abuse (Bowen and Walton, 2015). The truth of the matter is that an addiction is any activity that deviates from the norm where the individual has an insatiable desire to take part in it. This means that there is a wide array of activities or even behaviors that can be categorized as addictions. The types of addictions would include alcohol, drugs, internet, cyberspace, social media, technological and even sexual addictions (Eaton et al, 2015).  The similarity with all of them is the fact that the largest share of time is spent engaging in this activity. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

The reason that alcohol and substance abuse is quite commonly viewed as the severest form of addiction is because the repercussions cause irreversible damage that is more painful compared to the rest (Glei, 2016). This is evidenced in the manner that alcohol or drug addicts inflict a lot of pain on their dependents and even their immediate family members. The addiction to alcohol, prescription drugs and other forms of prohibited substances is manifests itself in the manner that the victim cannot do without consuming this commodity. For instance, a person who is addicted to alcohol will drink a glass or two of wine or beer when they wake up in the morning.

This is the first thing they do, as they believe that they cannot function without it. Further, other individuals will either smoke a cigarette or ingest some pills so that they can start of their day. The same is true for people who are addicted to hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin where they snort and sniff it as the first activity of the day. The level of addiction of such people is known to deteriorate where they can even skip important duties such as work, parenting or even meetings just to drink beer or even smoke their favorite drug (Lee, 2014) Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

People who are at this stage or phase are known to do anything just to get their hands on what they want. This means that even if a person does not have the money, they are willing to steal so as to enable them get the substance they urgently crave. This category of addictions is regarded by society as the most severe due to the impact it brings on the individual and even the nearby people (Linley et al, 2014). The fact that the person is no longer in control of himself or herself means that other people are forced to step in and intervene. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay. This is one of the addictions where social workers are known to play a very critical role in the healing and recovery process. This is because a majority of people believe that this behavior is hard to control or even manage.

The truth of the matter is that social workers can play a pivotal role in helping a person recover from these addictions and resume normalcy in life (Nielsen and Houborg, 2015). The addiction to the internet, social media as well as cyberspace is another category that has become common in the recent times. This form of dependency is characterized by obsession to stay glued to online platforms for a very long time ((Hall et al, 2010). The addiction to social networks is highly common among the young and old alike where people spend most of their time browsing through profiles of people. Facebook, Twitter Instagram, Snap chat and even YouTube are the most common social media sites where addicts can be found perusing and navigating through them for the purposes of connecting with their friends by chatting, sending pictures or even updating their status (Wagaman et al, 2015).

The crave for social media is known to be quite serious because most people who are caught up in it can spend the entire day on the internet. The sad reality is that some of the people on their walls or social pages are unknown to them and are only aware of their lives because of their celebrity status (Wagaman et al, 2015). Hence, they spend a lot of time trying to catch up on what they have been doing, where they have been or even what they have bought. Social media and internet addiction can be blamed for the deviant and erratic behavior that is being witnessed among the young generation. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

The side effects of this addiction are that people have stopped living their lives as society dictates and are instead doing it through the internet. Social media addicts are known to post details of their whereabouts at any moment of the day (Hall et al, 2010). What’s more, they post their pictures at various locations such that any person can tell what they have been up to on a daily basis. This addiction makes people to detach themselves from reality and resort to living in a cocoon of their own. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay. The dangers of internet and social media addiction are not as severe as those of alcohol but they are serious nonetheless.

The victims of this behavior are often in denial of what goes on around them and they build a new life via Facebook, Instagram or even Whatsapp. It is also through the internet that addictions to cyber-sex and pornography have increased at a significant rate. The fact that online platforms contain a lot of information on various topics means that it is easy for any person to access knowledge on what they desire (Hutchinson and Allnock, 2014). This makes it easy for internet users to become accustomed to these erotic sites where they can fulfil their fantasy even in the absence of a physical partner. The addicts of pornography or even cyber-sex can come from any age bracket because the internet is not restricted and it is accessible from gadgets such as phones, tablets and even iPads. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

The common denominator with these addictions is that they provide a sense of satisfaction when it comes to sexual matters in a way that could not be done in an alternative manner (Lee, 2014). Addictions to cybersex have very dire consequences because they affect present and even future relationships. Further, people who are married and indulge in such activities tend to become distant in matters of intimacy such that one of the spouses is left to suffer. This type of addiction has been known to wreck havoc in homes, unions and even friendships because the victim places more emphasis on this wayward and unruly behavior at the expense of other innocent people (Linley et al, 2014). Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

The types of addiction are not limited to consumption of a substance or information, but they also spread out to behavior and mannerisms.  The addiction to shopping and gambling are two behaviors that are known to create a rare obsession in the victim. The people who suffer from this type of addiction spend a lot of their money in order to satisfy this craving (Lee, 2014).

This ends up exhausting even their own savings such the dependents are left wallowing in misery. The discussion of the different types of addiction indicates that they are quite diverse in both scope and context. However, they all have the same feature in the sense that they have a compulsory and obsessive force that drives the victims to constantly indulge in them Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

Cutting edge research has made it possible for the public to understand and internalize the topic of addictions, their history, origin as well as their greatest negative effects. The second part of this essay analyzes addictions from a social work perspective and explains the pivotal role played by  social work practices in addressing this issue. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

  1. ii) Part B

 Social Work Perspective in Addressing Addictions

The critical evaluation of the core reasons why people indulge or engage in the abuse of addictive substances can be best understood through the historical origin and root cause of the problem. The consumption of alcohol and drugs dates back to thousands of centuries where the ancient generations did it as a pleasurable activity during their leisure time (Bach et al, 2016).

In fact, beverages that contained alcohol in them have been brewed since the medieval times and people were known to consume them in social gatherings. The same case applies to drug consumption where opium and poppy plants were grown and cultivated in the past and used as pain relieving medication (Bowen and Walton, 2015). Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

Flash forward to the present day, the meaning of alcohol and drugs has lost its meaning and people consume it for all the wrong reasons. This has led to the mushrooming of the addiction problem such that social workers have been forced to intervene in order to mitigate this issue. Culture and society play a very integral role when it comes to shaping the viewpoint and debate on the alcohol and substance addiction (Eaton et al, 2015). It is a well-known fact that cultural beliefs, traditions and norms have a centralized position on the expectations and outlooks on every member of the society. Hence, the failure to live up to these standards often results in people seeking refuge through other ways where alcohol addiction is the most common (Bach et al, 2016). Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.

Further, other people have been known to become addicted because of the manner in which they were brought up both culturally and traditionally. For instance, some people end up becoming addicts of beer and liquor because they were brought up knowing that it is supposed to be taken during meals (Eaton et al, 2015). Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay. Therefore, this reasoning is taken out of context where such people end up taking it all the time without any moderation. The current trend in the society where many people are addicted to alcohol, drugs and other banned substances is worrying, despite the fact that there is an ocean of knowledge on this topic (Eaton et al, 2015).

The majority of people are still hooked to various substances and even drugs due to a myriad of reasons. One of them is the change in lifestyle where there has been a lot of evolution when it comes to trends, the economic stability and even the advent of the internet. Most people have found it difficult to keep up with the changes of life such that pressure mounts from within. The increase in the cost of living coupled with rising demands from the public has been known to lead to addiction (Glei, 2016). Furthermore, the failure to keep up with what the society expects and desires results in a person falling prey to either a drug or even alcohol.

Additionally, the consumption of drugs and alcohol has escalated due to the manner in which it is portrayed in the media and in social networks. Television adverts make beer and alcohol consumption to appear as a pleasurable, trendy and fashionable thing to do such that people who are teetotalers begin to become curious. The people who are easily swayed become convinced by the media that uses catchy words and phrases in order to entice them to take up the habit (Lee, 2014). Moreover, social media is also to blame for the soaring numbers of people who have become addicts of one substance or the other.

This is because the online community has made alcohol consumption look like the most trendy activity such that those outside its scope are considered being in the dark. This is evident in the high number of teenagers, young adults and even students who have become entangled in this vice (Eaton et al, 2015). The profession of social work ought to be concerned about this matter because it has become a huge cancer in the current society. The core objective of any social worker is to ensure that people who live in a given area are able to co-exist in a harmonious and friendly manner.

This can only happen when every member is responsible enough to take care of himself or herself and also carry the needs of their dependents to heart (Nielsen and Houborg, 2015).

Further, it is the duty of every social worker to be concerned about the plight of people living in the community because this touches on matters of health and overall wellbeing. Addiction is one of the obstacles to health that is known to infringe on a person’s ability to have control of themselves. Social workers are able to utilize their macro and micro skills to counsel and advise addicts on how they can stop their wayward behavior (Eaton et al, 2015).

This is because they have been trained on the right approach to use in order to assess and identify the needs of their clients. What’s more, a social worker is better placed to know the scope of the problem and come up with the most viable strategy of recovery and rehabilitation. It is also within the jurisdiction of any social worker to handle the problem of addiction from a communal perspective (Glei, 2016). Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay. This means that they have to take into consideration the needs of the family members, the spouse, children and even close dependents.

The reason for this is that this category of people suffer the most when a close relative is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Social workers are able to offer their service in the form of direct treatment where they take care of the addict within the hospital setting. At the same time, they counsel them on the dangers of addiction, the harm they inflict on themselves as well as the pain they bring on their loved ones (Eaton et al, 2015). The power of outreach and social education also comes alive through this profession where people get to be informed on substance abuse and what leads to addiction. It is through these sessions that the addicts together with the community get to be educated about a plethora of issues. This in turn begins the journey to recovery where addicts have been known to break the habit with the selfless help of social workers. Addiction is indeed a huge problem in the society and its mitigation can be made possible through the intervention of social workers and support from the public. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay.


Substance abuse and addiction are ranked as two of the greatest problems and plagues that have embedded themselves in society for the longest time. The consumption of alcohol and even drugs dates back to the medieval times when people partook of these items for leisure and relaxation. This meaning has been altered in the present times such that the number of people addicted to alcohol and drugs has escalated. Addiction takes many forms and it is not restricted in the consumption of prohibited substances. Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay. The obsession with social media, the internet, cybersex, pornography, gambling and even shopping are other types of addictions that are known to exist. However, the society has placed a lot of emphasis on alcohol and drugs such that they are viewed as the most common forms of addiction.

There are various cultural considerations that are involved when it comes to the healing and recovery from the various forms of addictions. The most common one is related to alcohol and drugs as it is known to impact negatively on the victim and the close relatives as well. The profession of social work is deemed as being highly valuable in the journey to recovery for addicts. This is because they are trained and educated on how to handle the victims of drug or alcohol addiction such that they can recover fully from it Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay. The indispensable role played by social workers is great and it has brought a lot of positive influence on the lives of people who were formerly addicts. The community deserves to uphold its norms and values so that people who fall prey to addictive behavior can be helped to stand back on their feet and resume their earlier responsible lives.



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Bowen, E. A., & Walton, Q. L. (2015). Disparities and the Social Determinants of Mental Health and Addictions: Opportunities for a Multifaceted Social Work Response. Health & Social Work, 40(3), e59-e65. doi:10.1093/hsw/hlv034 Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay

Eaton, K., Ohan, J. L., & Dear, G. (2015). The stigmatisation of the provision of services for alcohol and other drug users: A systematic literature review. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, 22(1), 19-25.

Glei, J. (2016). Why We’re Addicted to Email-and How to Fix It. Time, 188(14), 23.

Hall, M. N., Amodeo, M., Shaffer, H. J., & Bilt, J. V. (2010). Social Workers Employed in Substance Abuse Treatment Agencies: A Training Needs Assessment. Social Work, 45(2), 141-154.

Hutchinson, A., & Allnock, D. (2014). The Development of Employment-Based Education on Substance use for Social Workers in England: Embedding Substance use Training in Frameworks of Continuing Professional Development. Social Work Education, 33(5), 589-604.

Lee, T. K. (2014). Addiction Education and Training for Counselors: A Qualitative Study of Five Experts. Journal Of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 35(2), 67-80.

Linley, J. V., Mendoza, N. S., & Resko, S. M. (2014). Working on Treatment Teams: Educating Social Work Students to Function as Addiction Specialists within Interdisciplinary Groups. Social Work Education, 33(5), 642-655.

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Wagaman, M. A., Geiger, J. M., Shockley, C., & Segal, E. A. (2015). The Role of Empathy in Burnout, Compassion Satisfaction, and Secondary Traumatic Stress among Social Workers. Social Work, 60(3), 201-209. doi:10.1093/sw/swv014 Cultural Considerations in Healing from Addictions Essay

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