HLSC120 Indigenous Health And Culture


Assessment Task: Reflective Writing Proforma

This reflective writing task is complete.

Step 1

To guide your reflection, choose carefully from the Reflective Writing Topic 1 and 2.

Step 2

To reflect on how knowledge, experiences, and observations relate to the question you selected from Step 1, use the sociological imagination template (SI).

Step 3

Use the SI template for reflective writing to answer the original question that you identified in Step 1. Germov (2104) is required. A minimum of six additional academic sources are also required (e.g., HLSC120 e Modules).

To support your answer, you will need journal articles and research reports from HLSC120 e Modules.

These academic sources can be found using your own information search.

Analyse the impact these resources had on your original thoughts and reflections.

Step 4

Final, reflect on how answering the question helped you achieve one of four ACU Graduate attributes.

Topic 1

The inequalities in health among socioeconomic (SES), groups in Australia pose a significant threat to society. This is because lower SES groups have significantly higher rates of mortality and morbidity at an earlier age.

To see the SI template used to analyze the problem in Australia for a disadvantaged population, and to reflect on the social model to address these inequalities, refer to Table 1.

Topic 2

The use of illegal and recreational drugs is a major concern for society in Australia as well as internationally. This can lead to significant health problems and community anxiety.

Use Table 2 to see the SI template and to analyze the problem from a sociological perspective.


Step 1

Both in Australia and internationally, a significant concern is the increasing use of illegal and recreational drugs. This can lead to significant health problems and community concerns.

The sociological imagination will be used to analyse the problem and suggest strategies that can be used from a social perspective to reduce it.

Step 2

This era has seen a lot of controversy around the use of illegal and recreational drugs.

These drugs are used in Australia and around the world. I have specific opinions.

It is especially relevant in Australia because illicit drug use contributes a large portion to the current disease burdens.

The widespread spread of these diseases can be attributed to the use and abuse of drugs such as opioids, cannabis, cocaine, and amphetamines.

According to my knowledge, illicit drug use was a product of counterculture in the 1960 s, especially among young Australians. It has continued to rise in prominence in the 21st century (Degenhardt Hall & Gartner 2015).

The various policies and government initiatives in Australia to combat illicit drug use have not been effective. I believe that more aggressive and proactive approaches are needed to address the problem.

Australia’s drug and alcohol culture is deeply ingrained in society.

These societal practices are rooted in our society and are responsible for many mental disorders.

The altered behavior patterns in vulnerable youth and adolescents has been attributed to the easy access to drugs and alcohol that is part of cultural traditions.

These practices have penetrated society deeper, resulting in an increase in mental health issues and other serious societal problems (Bor et. al. 2014).

The most affected are those who are economically backward and the economically disadvantaged.

My cultural background in Australia is that I believe the Aboriginal culture has a significant influence on the culture of drug and alcohol use.

My personal opinion is that drug abuse is a relative term. Properly administering drugs is an indicator of good health, while chronic dependence leads to addiction which can have devastating effects.

I don’t think there should be any stigma attached to drug users because everyone has their reasons for using drugs.

To minimize the possible harms from drug abuse, it is important to draw a line between abuse and use.

The ones involved in drug abuse are not following the norms of society and should be treated with care to get them back on track.

I’ve witnessed firsthand the instances where drug addicts succumb to pressure due to a bonding experience.

They may also do this to relieve stress and promote community solidarity.

Many people are drawn to lifestyle and cravings that seem glamorous, which is why they behave in this way (Beckwith and al. 2015).

This behavior can be explained by the state government, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, medical professions, allied health professions, alternative healthcare industries, and other healthcare professionals that regulate factors that affect drug abuse and use.

The complex interplay of these variables may be responsible for the desired outcomes in relation to drug and alcohol abuse and use.

This is a serious problem that I want to address by taking the necessary steps to reduce stigma and drug abuse.

As a health professional, I believe that more awareness and mass campaigns about the harmful effects of alcoholism and substance abuse must be conducted. This should include definite initiatives that involve holistic participation by all parties (Van Wormer and Davis, 2016).

Social inclusion and support will provide positive insight into the issue, which I believe will help to decrease the concern.

Step 3: Historical Factors

The passage of legislations, criminalization, and institutionalization related drug problems has opened the door to stigmatization of drug abuse and misuse.

The Australian context saw the adoption of the National Drug Strategy, which could have helped to minimize the harm done.

It was in force from 1993 to 1997.

The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse was established in 1985. It aimed to reduce the effects of supply, demand, and harm (Maisto Galizio & Connors 2014).

It was designed to promote good health and economic responses through the reduction of illicit and licit drug use.

Regulation of drug use and related behaviors has been further enhanced by the direct legislative and enforcement responsibilities of the government.

Rehabilitative legal solutions include the effective use of pragmatic preventive partnerships to alleviate the drug-related harm, rather than moral judgement.

The provision of therapeutic justice can be made through therapeutic jurisprudence, which is the study of how legal systems affect the mental health, emotion, and behavior of people (Bull, Spencer & Wexler, 2016).

By ensuring better quality justice, the justice system is responsible for the wellbeing of individuals and their communities (Richardson Spencer & Wexler 2016).

The inclusion of a strict legal framework for accounting has been shown to improve the health and well-being of communities through proper actions against substance abuse or malpractice.

Cultural Factors

Some culturally acceptable practices which could lead to drug abuse are the protection actions of certain drugs, ritual indulgence in the prohibited substance like alcohol, and degree of conformance by a person through Acculturation to the native culture.

The patterns relating to synthetic cannabinoid usage in Australia may provide some examples.

Cultural alignment that promotes cannabinoid usage has been attributed to the following factors: legality, availability, nondetection of standard drug screening tests, and therapeutic effects (Barratt, Cakic & Lenton 2013, 2013).

Sometimes, the mere fact that a person is related to certain cultural practices can lead to a deviation in circumstances that suggest drug abuse.

In cases where people are more likely to be affected than others, the desire to conform to social norms can lead to devastating consequences.

Research shows that young Australians are at high risk of drinking alcohol. This problem is transmitted from a young age by pathways and processes that account for pro-alcohol norms.

In such situations, it is necessary to take definite steps to reduce the danger by using appropriate therapeutic and non-therapeutic strategies.

Structural Factors

Symbolic interactionionism is a sociological perspective that places emphasis on co-creation. This philosophy is based on a specific set of human behaviors that are then revealed through the definite actions of individuals.

The stigma associated with drug addiction refers to the negative beliefs society holds about those who use it. This can lead to discrimination, exclusion and even social exclusion.

Stigmatization of drug abusers can lead to rejection, prejudice, and discrimination.

In this regard, symbolic interactionionism plays a crucial role in generating such ideals or behavioral attitudes (Vannini 2016, 2016).

To foster better healthcare services and facilities, the government and healthcare institutions must play a proactive role in Big Pharma and medicalization.

It will bridge the gap between the existing healthcare systems by taking strict actions and implementing pre-defined policies.

Concerning substance abuse, it is important to take specific and appropriate steps to address the relevant issues.

Pharmacists who practice medicine should be able to meet the needs of patients and not only serve their evil purposes.

Healthcare institutions should also be able to address the medical needs of patients suffering from substance abuse.

They should not be excluded from existing healthcare services. Instead, they should focus on properly treating their problems and following up (Gabe et. al., 2015).

Effective social support can be combined with psychological counseling to help reduce the harms of drug use.

Important Factors

Concerns have been raised about the dominance of Big Pharma and medicalization in Australia.

According to relevant bodies, mislabeling everyday problems as mental issues can have alarming consequences for the individual and society.

Frances (2013) identifies the main drawbacks as unneeded and unrequited medication administration, misallocations of clinical resources, and draining finances and budgets affecting the family.

There are many options for improving health in Australia. These options can be found within and through awareness of the infrastructure.

Cobiac et. al., 2017, found that tax relief and subsidies could be beneficial in promoting better health and nutrition for Australians.

In order to reduce societal fear and stigma, the social model of health can be used in conjunction with community- and strength-based approaches.

Social identity transition is an innovative way to address the stigma issue by utilizing the diverse social influences in an efficient manner.

This may help to consider the wider aspects of health and their social determinants. These factors include the economic, cultural, and environmental factors as well as the disease, injury, or illness.

Health promotion must be promoted through the proper implementation of education policies (Best and al., 2016).

Step 4

I was able to complete this task and earn one of the desirable Graduate attributes.

The knowledge I gained helped me to think critically and reflect appropriately.

During the course of my task, I gained additional insight and information about certain sociological concepts.

It was also demonstrated that I have the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be a good and competent sociology and health professional.

It helped me address complex problems in a variety of settings, taking into consideration both local and international perspectives.

I was able to gain sufficient insight and information about the problem of substance abuse in Australia, as well as the mitigation strategies that could be used to avoid such unimaginable circumstances in the near future.

This was a crucial role for both the government and the healthcare institutions.

This task has made me feel immensely fulfilled.

Refer to

Patterns of synthetic cannabis use in Australia.

Drug and alcohol review 32(2): 141-146.

Predictors of social identity flexibility among substance abusers who enter a treatment community.

Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 33(1): 93-104.

Best, D.

A process of social identity transformation: Overcoming alcohol or other drug addiction. The Social Identity Model of Recovery.

Addiction Research & Theory 24(2): 111-123.

Are mental health issues in children and adolescents increasing in the 21st Century?

A systematic review.

Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 48(7), 606-616.

From Punishment and Pragmatism: Sharing in the burden of reducing drug-related harm.

The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law, CXW007.

A cost-effectiveness modeling study on taxes and subsidies to improve diet and health in Australia.

The epidemiology of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug usage and their contribution to the disease burden.

Addiction Medicine: Principles & Practice.

Melbourne: IP Communications 8-21

Save normal: An insider’s rebellion against out-of control psychiatric diagnoses, DSM-5 and big pharma, and the medicalization ordinary life.

Psychotherapy in Australia, 19(3).

Pharmaceuticals and society: Power and promises, and future prospects.

Social Science & Medicine, 131: 193-198.


Digital Repository at the University of Newcastle.

Protocol for a respondent-driven sampling research: Investigation of alcohol-related social norms in Perth, Western Australia.

Drunk driving and drug abuse.

International Framework for Court Excellence: Enhancing wellbeing and creating excellent courts

Van Wormer, K., and Davis, D. R. (2016).

Treatment for addiction.

Body/embodiment – Symbolic interaction, the sociology of body.

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