The Underlying Determinants of Substance Use and Abuse: Beyond Victim-Blaming to a Look at the Social and Environmental-Level Determinants

Authors : Fidelis Takim Otu; Antor Odu Ndep ; Joseph A. Omang; Kenneth Onyejose; Offiong Dominic

Volume/Issue : Volume 5 - 2020, Issue 3 - March

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Victim-blaming refers to a tendency to place sole responsibility for a health behaviour or health status on the individual attitudes, behaviours, and lifestyle choices. The victim-blaming approach goes against the available scientific data and information from public health and social science research, which link health behaviour and health status to a constellation of factors such as social, economic, cultural, institutional, environmental - level factors - factors that exist beyond the individual-level. Concentrating on the individual-level alone in the complex web of health behaviour and health outcome causation will not bring about a lasting behaviour change, since the underlying determinants of most health behaviour and health outcomes lies in the socio- cultural and physical environment. Various factors, biological, genetic, psychological, social and environmental factors, have been implicated as risk factors in the initiation and development of substance use by individuals. These factors can be grouped into individual or behavioural determinants and socio- physical environmental determinants.

Keywords : Determinants, Substance Use, Victim-Blaming.


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