The Book of Ethics
Ch. 5: Cultural and Spiritual
Dimensions of Addiction Treatment
Presented by: Joslynn A. Davis
Rapid Growth of an
Ethnic and Culturally Diverse
As a result of a steadily increasing rate of racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S., the population that helping profession wants to assist has become very multicultural and diverse.
Some helping practitioners are unable to effectively help
their clients due to the cultural boundaries between the
client and the helper.
With so many cases like that on the rise in the helping
profession, the American Psychiatric Association stated that in their guidelines that “helpers should be multiculturally competent and know their limitations in serving diverse
clients” (APA Ethical Guidelines; 1993,2003).
To practice multicultural competence, it takes three aspects:
Awareness- the identification of one’s own biases and levels of openness to others, as well as awareness of other cultures.
Knowledge: includes both general cultural knowledge and
information specific to various cultures.
Skills: the ability to address cultural issues and may involve empirically supported, adapted techniques for specific cultures, and other techniques that may have culture-based support.
10 Dimensions of Culture
When using the term “Culture” it is
often associated and often limited to
the 4 predominate ethnic minorities:
However in ethical guidelines when
referring to culture, there are ten
dimensions that allow the helper to
understand the various belief
systems and worldviews on healing
Ethics in Relation to Culture
In the subject of Ethics, there is an array of beliefs that
support Ethics being universal and independent of culture.
But on the opposite side of the debate, scholars also argue
that ethical principles vary across cultures and contexts.
From these two opposing sides, there lies in the middle
another view called “ethical multiculturalism” which takes into consideration cultural norms in ethical principles.
Virtue Ethics and Culture
Some practitioners ask helpers to adopt the view of Virtue Ethics, which asks for personal transformation and ongoing character development to pursue the highest form of multiculturalism.
Explanatory Models of Addiction
When working with clients of a different culture, it is crucial that the helper ask questions to guide the discovery of the patient’s understanding of the illness and treatment. Their responses will allow the helper to refer back to the Explanatory Models of
The helper will pose questions to gain answers to:
What the patient names the problem
Cause of the problem
Course, Mechanisms, and Effects of the problem
Patient’s fears of the problem
Patient’s fear of treatment
Explanatory Models of Addicition
Alcohol is evil; there’s a spirit of addiction that causes affliction
Addiction is caused by magical practices of people with malign intent
Addiction is caused by alienation from God/Higher Power/Creator
Addiction is caused by being out of harmony with self/nature/others Substance use or addiction is viewed as a sin
addicts lack impulse control, empathy, sense of responsibility Addiction is caused by genetic factors/biological change in brain impulses
Public Health Model
Addiction is caused by a traumatic experience/lack of adequate...
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