Substance Use and Movement From One Culture to Another

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 2
Words: 314
Reading time:
2 min

Movement from one environment creates several scenarios, all of which have the potential to lead to substance and drug abuse. When teenagers are moved to a new cultural environment, there is an innate need to belong in the new environment. The new cultural environment is new to them, and the desire to explore and experience is a motivating factor. “The redskins, say the authors, were only obediently following the example of drunken comportment set by their white tutors.” The adolescents find that they need to belong in the new culture and group, thus learning the culture of the host community, which can include substance use. “…Cultural ‘convergence’ such as that currently occurring in parts of Europe, can introduce styles of drinking with which previously existing cultural frameworks are unable to cope.” New entrants actually introduce their new cultures that influence the hot culture leading to substance abuse in a situation. The claim holds especially when the host culture is receptive and open to new habits and activities leading to substance abuse.

When all the data is considered, it is clear that culture has a definite role to play in substance abuse among adolescents. It is also clear that the solution requires an open mind approach since a major contributor is the lack of understanding of other cultures. The psychological effect of peer and environmental pressure on adolescents, as well as how to communicate and interact with them, is a significant contributor. It is worth noting that culture can be learned, adapted and people can change; hence changing the perception that substance abuse is a norm and an acceptable norm should be confronted at the offset and, where possible remove opportunities for experimentation with substance. It is intriguing to note that one can define a new culture for the primary objective of influencing adolescents positively against substance abuse.