Salud Mental

I just don't know what to do! Barriers to seeking treatment for needs arising from alcohol consumption


Mónica Carrasco Gómez
Guillermina Natera Rey
Luz Arenas Monreal
Lilian Erendira Pacheco Magaña


Background. This paper analyzes the main barriers to seeking health care and the regulation of alcohol abusers and their relatives in a rural community.

Objective. Was to analyze the metaphors and dilemmas of alcohol consumers and their families regarding their health needs, seeking care, the implementation of regulation and the obstacles they face in a rural community in Mexico.

Method. This is a qualitative case study, involving ethnography, focus groups and semi-structured interviews.

Results. How that people view alcohol abuse as a problem until an addiction occurs and are torn between regarding it as a “vice” or a disease. Seeking care is hampered by tolerance towards consumption, ignorance of how to proceed, fear of “gossip” in a context of weak regulation and treatment options, where consumption is socio-culturally encouraged.

Discussion and conclusion. That the meanings and dilemmas faced by actors in the search for health care and the regulation of alcohol sales constitute barriers to which the health system must respond in an integral fashion.

Access to health care, alcohol abuse, metaphors, dilemmas