Psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and marijuana have the ability to change or alter the consciousness of an individual. More people especially the use these drugs to change their consciousness and alter one's sense of awareness. The use of drugs differs from one group to the other. Psychoactive drugs are natural or synthetic substances that produce changes in emotions, thought and behavior as they alter the functioning of the brain and the nervous system. Psychotomimetic drugs, a class of psychoactive produce an altered sense of reality and hallucination. Drugs are mostly categorized as either illicit or licit; they may also be categorized as per the effect the drugs have on the body i.e. narcotics, hallucinogens, and antipsychotics.
According to ethnobotanists, Psychotomimetic drugs have been used for millions of years and are found in particular flora. Most ancient cultures had access to alcohol and some drugs that they used for different purposes ranging from ceremonials, healings physical and psychological problems and nourishment. Most tribal groups had strict regime and regulation for use of alcohol and drugs by its members. Shaman and religious leaders mostly used the powerful psychoactive drugs. Most groups of people categorized drugs according to their effect; those with strong effect had strong regulations against their usage. Though the usage of drugs and alcohol in different cultural groups varies, the impact of the drugs on the body of users is relatively the same.
We have social and psychological factors that enhance the usage of drugs in different groups. In northern America, drug use is mostly associated with certain groups mostly the ethnic minorities. Drug use though spread in whole of America is mostly huge in areas with dense population. In cities, ethnic tend to stay together hence the high incidence of alcohol and drug use. The media reinforces the tendency to believe that the minorities are the only ones abusing alcohol as it mostly reports on them.
People belonging to religious groups tend to have few or sometimes nondrug and alcohol usage cases. It is mostly as a resultant of their religious customs that is mostly against alcohol and drug usage.
The study gives a critical analysis of the usage of alcohol and other drugs and its origin. Its quite surprising to know that most of the drugs and alcohol have been in use for many years. Though currently highly abused, most of these drugs were used purposively.
Furthermore, the knowledge of some drugs having medicinal value is of great knowledge, having been used for quite long.
The author failed to highlight the usage of alcohol and drugs among the affluent American and the motivation for usage. Though it's true that most low-level individual tend to indulge highly in alcohol and drug abuse, most of them are motivated to do so by various social issues mostly related to poverty.
Cultural self-awareness summary
The article gives great knowledge about diverse cultural groups and their beliefs on the usage of alcohol and other drugs. Most groups, since time memorial, operate under regulations that define their way of life. Among most tribal groups, the use of drugs was regulated and in some situations some drugs remained a preserve of a few.
The religious belief and belonging of an individual and can be a key determinant of the likelihood to use alcohol and drugs. Most religions tend to have strong regulations against drug use and abuse, any strong believer of such religions tend to follow the rules hence little use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.
The socio-cultural status of individuals is a key indicator of the likelihood of alcohol and drug abuse. Most minorities in cities tend to live in one location hence high population density; therefore a high tendency to alcohol and drug use and abuse.
Trimble, Joseph E, Catherine S. Bolek, and Steve J. Niemcryk. Ethnic and Multicultural Drug Abuse: Perspectives on Current Research. New York: Harrington Park Press, 1992. Print.
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