I shall cover the definition, status quo, problem statement, research and facts, and propose a solution.
Hopefully we can learn more about the nature of addiction so we can better help our friends & family in need.
To define it loosely, addiction is to be so obsessed about something that you would do anything to get your dose.
If you ask a random person what makes people hooked to drugs, they would probably just say "because it's drugs lol". Right?
First you will use it for recreation. Do it enough and it turns into dependence, needing it just to go through your day. And when you can't get it, desperation.
There are 3 levels of experiment, all bringing us to deeper and different conclusions.
First one is plain water.
Second one is water laced with heroin.
Heroin is used because it is the most potent drug. Most people can get addicted the first time they try it.
This means addiction is real. Once you try it, you can definitely get hooked. But let's take a look at the second level.
1. Colourful balls and toys
2. Best rat food
3. Tunnels to run and play
4. Plenty of friends
In the Rat Park, most of them shunned the drugged water. They didn't like it. Weird right?
Almost like different environments breed different cultures and habits.
Let's talk about heroin addiction during Vietnam War.
Turns out 95% just stopped with no help whatsoever.
But once we step out of hospital we don't seek heroin right?
On level 3, they combined the first two levels. They separated the rats and the put them back together.
During this period Exp1 proves true, that 9 out of 10 fell to addiction.
Professor Bruce Alexander wanted to know, if you fall into addiction can you really recover? Or have the drugs taken over you?
His finding was, again, weird.
They now hve a support system,a community that supports him. A positive environment that lets him thrive.
In isolation, d rats become the worst version of themselves. In a community, they became better.
In Malaysia, the number of drug abusers rise. In Portugal, the number of drug abusers is dropping and the number of injection-based drug addiction dropped by 50%.
Similarly, Portugal's top cop Joao Figueira was a major campaigner against decriminalization of drugs. But now he hopes that the whole world will follow Portugal's steps.
We stop putting stigmas on addicts, we stop insulting them. Instead, we see them as equals and start actually helping them.
The steered the country towards supporting people to be better, instead of punishing drug addicts.
Neighbours actually try to help instead of silently judging from windows and calling the cops to arrest them.
1) No skills or training to return and fit into society
2) No source of income
3) No friends or support system
They have no other route other than to go back to their old lifestyle right?
7 steps and you're back right?
But if you go to Gambling Anonymous, they are just as hooked to gambling but without the chemical hooks of consuming drugs.
Sex addicts don't need to consume marijuana to get addicted.
In fact, don't bother anyone who does you no harm if you don't intend to help them.
And remember, keep yourself approachable. If you become a problem there are only 2 options: Help you or get rid of you.
Here is from Cher and her journey of recovery from her addiction.