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How to Find Culturally Relevant Addiction HelpAs a mental and physical condition, addiction pervades all aspects of the sufferer’s life. This understanding has shaped treatment approaches, as family counseling and gender-specific tracks have been incorporated into addiction programs. Another way to involve the whole person in addiction rehabilitation is to create culturally relevant treatments that address the unique cultural backgrounds of Tennessee addicts.

How Culture Affects Addiction in Tennessee

The relevance of culture to addiction can be easily overlooked. Addiction is usually thought of as a problem of personal habits with roots extending back no further than early experiences of childhood. But an individual’s attitudes about substance use can be heavily influenced by ideas inherited from one’s culture.

Many cultures project very strong ideas about alcohol. Mainstream European and American cultures associate alcohol closely with social interaction and celebration. Religious traditions within those societies, however, may look upon any consumption of alcohol as shameful or sinful. Among Native Americans, on the other hand, alcohol is an emblem of the unwanted effects of European influence.

Other drugs carry cultural meaning within specific cultures and subcultures. Despite their destructive effects, stimulants receive a measure of approval among cultures that emphasize hard physical work or academic achievement. Marijuana has a venerated place within alternative cultural groups.

These culturally acquired attitudes can all affect the way an addict in Tennessee sees himself and his addiction, and must be addressed in treatment in order to ensure long-term recovery.

How Tennessee Addicts Can Benefit from Culturally Relevant Treatment

Working toward recovery under culturally familiar circumstances can be an advantage for some Tennessee addicts. Some helpful aspects of a culturally relevant addiction program can include:

  • Counselors who speak the addict’s first language
  • Sensitivity to issues of privacy and openness that are specific to the addict’s culture
  • Advantages in diagnosing within a cultural context any co-occurring mental disorders
  • Therapeutic activities that are rooted in familiar traditions

Feeling comfortable and familiar with the treatment setting and therapeutic methods can help some Tennessee addicts embrace recovery and achieve sobriety.

Benefits of Accessing Other Cultures in Addiction Treatment

The addict’s own culture is not the only one from which he can draw benefits. After all, recovery is by necessity a journey of new ideas and habits that can be used to build a new life without addiction. Treatment programs can enrich the cultural relevance of the experience by drawing on ideas and practices from many cultures. This enrichment may take forms such as:

  • Rituals of purification, renewal or healing
  • Meditation practices
  • Philosophical approaches to life
  • Therapeutic musical activities

Therapy groups that include people from other cultural backgrounds can also be very beneficial.  Identifying the role that culture exerts on one’s own addiction can be easier with the help of friends from other cultures.

How Tennessee Addicts Can Assess Culturally Relevant Programs

Even if they offer a lot of culturally relevant programming and capabilities, treatment programs may not have found a way to highlight them in their outreach materials. Asking questions of prospective programs may be necessary for Tennessee residents to assess cultural relevance. Questions may include:

  • What races and ethnic groups does this facility commonly serve?
  • What is the ethnic background of the counselors and staff?
  • Do any of the counselors speak my native language?
  • What opportunities for cultural exploration are offered for the clients?

If you are working with an intervention specialist, she may also be able to help make a connection with programs that offer cultural relevance.

Counter Addiction with Culture

If you are searching for a culturally relevant addiction treatment program for yourself or someone you know, call our 24 hour helpline to learn more about finding these programs. The call is toll free.