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Cultural Barriers

Culture plays a big role in alcohol and drug treatment.  If an addict is surrounded by individuals who only understand and view the moral concept of addiction, they are less likely to seek treatment.  Culture also plays a role in alcoholism.  In other countries alcohol is more available and more acceptable to younger children.  They can socially drink and understand that excessive drinking is not socially acceptable.  This can also be tied into the moral model.  If a person who comes from a culture where alcohol is acceptable then they too can have a hard time finding treatment if they need help.  Their culture may wonder why they can’t just have a few drinks and could think this is a character flaw or they have weak morals.  Culture plays a big role in treatment on many different levels.

Different Populations

Stereotyping clients because of a certain age, gender, or ethnic group is not what counselors should do.  While counseling should tailor to the individual, there should also be group considerations to think about as well.  For example, understanding different ethnicities would be greatly beneficial as there are some ethnic groups that behave and believe a certain way.  Another example is elderly and adolescences.  The elderly are often misrepresented because their situations are often overlooked due to their age and “all knowing.”  The opposite is for adolescences.  Adolescences don’t have the same life experiences as adults do to really understand the implications of abuse.  Therefore, they often say what needs to be said to complete a program and will go right back to doing what they had fun doing.  Women, gay and lesbians, and criminal justice populations also need more understanding when it comes to their populations.