What is the Main Purpose of the Article?
The article focuses on how the concept of “culture” (i.e. societal upbringing, traditions, etc.) acts as a potential means for helping a person recover from substance abuse. The article implies that “everyday cultural experiences can act as an important source of healing in communities” (Nygaard, 2012).
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It shows the importance of such experience by showing that there is an insufficient level of integration of cultural mechanisms as a form of supportive recovery maintenance. Lastly, it shows how culture has a means of enabling people to “kick the habit” so to speak by creating a more accepting and familiar environment where the process of healing can begin. However, the article concludes by stating that at the present, there is still a limited understanding of how culture can act as a social support for recovery.
What is the Key Question of the Article?
The key question of the article is how culture may bolster resilience in substance abuse recovery as well as what constitutes “cultural authenticity” for both indigenous and non-indigenous residents of a remote community.
Most Important Information from the Article
When examining the article, the most important information that was shown was how culture based treatment actually enabled the creation of a positive sense of recovery among indigenous populations which helped significantly with their recovery from the substance abuse.
Nygaard (2012) presents the notion that it was the cultural devastation on local indigenous populations brought on through politics, economics and the modern world that created a loss of a sense of “self” among members of “first people” populations resulting in them turning towards destructive patterns of substance abuse.
The end result was as traditional cultural values continued to be eroded as a result of the encroachment of economic and political interests, the more likely these populations would turn towards substance abuse as a means of escape. By implementing methods of positive cultural experiences and the creation of a better sense of “self”, this helped to create a better means of recovery for indigenous populations.
Main Inference from the Article
While the author concluded that utilizing culture as a means of enabling substance abuse recovery is still in doubt given the lack of sufficient understanding behind the proper establishment of standard practices, the fact remains that despite whatever power culture may have in terms of enabling patient recovery, socio-economic factors still play a crucial role in either leading indigenous people towards substance abuse or out of it (Nygaard, 2012).
The problem really is that indigenous populations are continuously experiencing a level of “culture shock” so to speak wherein traditional practices are simply not in harmony with modern day practices. Aspects related to modern conveniences in communication, entertainment and travel are at odds with the way in which indigenous people used to live their lives resulting in a slow erosion of traditional cultural identities which leads people towards substance abuse.
Taking the line of reasoning of the author into consideration, it can be stated that should the use of culture as a means of building up the concept of the “self” be integrated into standard recovery processes, it is likely that greater levels of government intervention into cultural preservation may be enabled.
On the other end of the spectrum, if the line of reasoning of the author is ignored, one of the possible implications is that a viable means of preventing substance abuse among indigenous populations could be lost resulting in higher numbers of patients for recovery centers in Canada in the coming years.
Main Points of View
Overall, the main points of view of the article is the potential that culture holds as a means of enabling substance abusers to recover, however, so long as socio-economic problems exist, it is likely that even culture would be insufficient in preventing relapses.
Nygaard, A. (2012). Cultural authenticity and recovery maintenance in a rural first nation community. International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, 10, 162–173.