Culture, identity and the embodiment of illicit drug use in Nepal

Jha, Chandra Kant, and Plummer, David (2014) Culture, identity and the embodiment of illicit drug use in Nepal. Mental Health and Substance Use, 7 (1). pp. 5-18.

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Abstract

This study explores the lived experiences of people who use illegal drugs in Nepal and how those experiences relate to culture, identity and the uptake of drugs. A phenomenological approach was used to explore the meanings associated with illicit drugs. The study revealed that the meanings that people associate with their use of drugs are deeply rooted in their sense of 'self', their construction of 'identity' and their sense of belonging in relation to peers. These factors play an important role in the way young people are introduced to drugs and their decisions to continue using them. These deeply embedded meanings are tied to social expectations. Rather than being a new feature of Nepali society, cultural, religious, traditional and social contexts are often congruent with initiating and maintaining drug use. Although a range of psychosocial factors provides influential avenues into drug use, reciprocal support systems are not readily available to help users to quit. Peer groups and networks play a central role in constructing meanings around drug use, for learning the fairly complex 'art' of usage and for maintaining and transmitting drug using practices and traditions. There also seems to be a lack of recognition of the serious consequences of illicit drug use. The findings of this study provide clues for better approaches to prevention.

Item ID: 25682
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1752-3273
Keywords: Nepal, drugs, addiction, peers, identity, youth
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2014 06:25
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920414 Substance Abuse @ 100%
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