Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Subst Abuse. 2012;6:23-31. doi: 10.4137/SART.S9247. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Researching Prescription Drug Misuse among First Nations in Canada: Starting from a Health Promotion Framework.

Author information

  • 1University of Saskatchewan, Department of Sociology and School of Public Health, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


The intentional misuse of psychotropic drugs is recognized as a significant public health concern in Canada, although there is a lack of empirical research detailing this. Even less research has been documented on the misuse of prescription drugs among First Nations in Canada. In the past, Western biomedical and individual-based approaches to researching Indigenous health have been applied, whereas First Nations' understandings of health are founded on a holistic view of wellbeing. Recognition of this disjuncture, alongside the protective influence of First Nations traditional culture, is foundational to establishing an empirical understanding of and comprehensive response to prescription drug misuse. We propose health promotion as a framework from which to begin to explore this. Our work with a health promotion framework has conveyed its potential to support the consideration of Western and Indigenous worldviews together in an 'ethical space', with illustrations provided. Health promotion also allots for the consideration of Canada's colonial history of knowledge production in public health and supports First Nations' self-determination. Based on this, we recommend three immediate ways in which a health promotion framework can advance research on prescription drug misuse among First Nations in Canada.


First Nations; Indigenous health; health promotion framework; intentional prescription drug misuse

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Libertas Academica Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk