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Additional info for Pathways: from the culture of addiction to the culture of recovery : a travel guide for addiction professions

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The culture has an existence and power that transcends its individual membership. The term "culture," as used in this text, encompasses classic definitions that examine customs, traditions, language, artifacts, institutions, religion, social relationships, and values shared in common by a group of people. The term also encompasses more expanded definitions that focus on culture as shared ideas or understandings that guide how individuals perceive themselves and the outside world (Geertz 1973) .

Failure to confront drug use and the consequences produced by such use in the life of the acultural addict is a major barrier to successful Page 11 intervention. This broad pattern of social enabling allows the acultural addict to escape the consequences of drug use and makes early intervention unlikely. Consider some of the following examples: · A physician addicted to Demerol and an anesthesiologist addicted to fentanyl both show a long history of progressive impairment which is confronted only in the latest stages of addiction, the former when he is caught injecting Demerol in the scrub room following surgery and the latter when he passes out during surgery.

Both addiction and recovery are viewed as "careers," and the career milestones for each are enumerated in chapters 7 and 14. "Career paths" in both cultures are described, focusing particularly on developmental stages or milestones that mark decision points for either disengagement from or intensification of addiction or recovery. Considerable time is given to examining how addicts "do treatment" through self-sabotaging styles designed to escape the experience of treatment and sustain addiction.

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