Psychiatry, Drug Abuse, and Culture

The Psychiatry Bulletin provides readers a glimpse of the perspectives on mental health, as a result of biological and cultural factors, in the latter half of the twentieth century. From the diverse array of topics ranging from child thumbsucking to schizophrenia, Emily, Erica, and I chose to hone in on drug addiction, abuse, and treatment.

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We will be constructing a brochure informing readers of the cases, perspectives, and treatment of drug abuse in the 1960’s. The goal of the brochure is to delineate the culture of drug abuse in the 1960’s, the causes of addiction, cultural views, physicians’ comments and treatment plans and compare these factors to the ones surrounding drug culture today. To accompany this brochure, we will also be creating a short one to two minute video to illustrate drug culture from the late 1900’s.

This brochure is targeted mainly to researchers, for example, medical humanists who would like to further investigate the intersections of biology and culture from the past to predict trends and aid the progression of treatments in the present. One of the Psychiatry Bulletin’s most interesting facets is its ability to not delve too deeply into the use of technical jargon and instead cater to a wide range of readers by discussing more of the impact of cultural factors on biology. This aspect is what makes the brochure and video most helpful for researchers who want to investigate the impact of culture on drug abuse and the impact of drug abuse on physiology. A study of these factors from the past can aid researchers in working on areas that can be targeted for treatment, that show specific trends, and that prevent harmful incidences of the past from recurring. The brochure and video essentially aim to show the intersections of culture and biology in the context of drug abuse.

My team members and I will need to dig into the articles of the Psychiatry Bulletin to fully understand the material presented. To receive more information, we may even need to visit the references from the journal. We will also need to look through scholarly sources (online and in Fondren) to unearth the culture of drug abuse today in a sense that can be compared to that of the culture in the 1960’s. This research will better aid us in presenting a comprehensive brochure and video most helpful for medical humanists interested in the intersection of biology and culture in the context of drug abuse.

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One thought on “Psychiatry, Drug Abuse, and Culture

  1. Hi, Snigdha. I’m interested to know why your group decided to focus on the topic of drugs. Do you expect there to be a vast difference between culture and perceptions surrounding drugs in the 1960s and today? It is interesting how you say that the Psychiatric Bulletin is valuable because it avoids technical jargon and can reach a wider audience. Do you think that people besides medical humanists–maybe politicians and policy makers–could also benefit from your video and brochure in order to enact society-wide change? Also, do you think it is possible to oversimplify the drug problem? If so, do you think that the Psychiatric Bulletin avoids this possibility?

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