Substance use and abuse are two of the more frequent psychological problems clinicians encounter, both in isolation and in the context of other disorders. Mainstream approaches focus on the biological and psychological factors underpinning drug abuse, but to fully appreciate the issue, we also need to attend to the social, historical, and cultural variables that provide a contextual base. The authors' primary goal is to explore thoroughly such cultural and historical approaches. Such an approach has much to offer in terms of enriching our understanding of why people use drugs and in elucidating the nature of substance-abuse problems. They also demonstrate how such an approach can be integrated within a mainstream biopsychosocial perspective. In so doing, they hope to illustrate how explanations drawn from different levels of analysis and different disciplinary perspectives relate.It integrates components from biological variables, psychosocial variables, cultural-historical variables, and the self, providing multidisciplinary perspective. Locating drug abuse in wider historical and cultural contexts allows clinicians to evaluate more clearly the constellation of factors responsible for drug-related problems. Illustrating the value of a cultural-historical perspective in conceptualizing, preventing, and treating substance abuse problems also serves to highlight consequent public policy implications. Chapters open with introductions and conclude with summaries and end notes to frame the content of each chapter for students.
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This book takes an integrative approach to the understanding of drug use and its relationship to social-cultural factors. It is lucidly and powerfully argued and constitutes a significant achievement. The authors sensibly argue that in order to fully understand and explain drug use and abuse it is necessary to take into account different levels of analysis, reflecting distinct domains of human functioning; the biological, psychosocial, and cultural-historical….Overall, this book represents an exceptional achievement and should be of interest to drug clinicians and researcher as well as social scientists and students.(Professor Tony Ward)
Russil Durrant received his Ph.D. from the University of Canterbury, where he also ompleted a Post Doctoral Fellowship. He then worked at the Centre for Behavioral Research in Cancer at the Cancer Control Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. His research involves the design and evaluation of mass media tobacco prevention programs, and his other research interests include evolutionary psychology, cultural psychology, and the social history of drug use. He currently teaches at Griffith University - Gold Coast Campus in Queensland, Australia.
Jo Thakker is a lecturer in clinical psychology at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Canterbury and has worked as a clinical psychologist in a variety of therapeutic contexts. Along with work in the substance abuse area, her research interests include cultural psychology and mental health issues in relation to migrants and refugees.
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