Rat Park Experiment
After reading this blog post I remember thinking at first wow, who knew they were doing studies on rats
about addiction, and how interesting the information gathered is. I feel confident in saying that a huge
question on everyone’s mind who’s dealing with addiction is “why?”. This post gives an example about
you and the next thirty people you see being on a drug for the next twenty days straight; then trying to
quit on the twenty-first day. Your body would then need the chemical, therefore you are addicted.
That’s how simple it is to become addicted to drugs. Further on in the blog, the study on rats begins;
first solo rats are placed in an unhappy cage where they can make the choice between regular water and
drugged water yet they continue to return to the drugged water until they kill themselves. Once the
experiment is altered and the rat is then provided with a happy cage the rats then try both the drugged
water and the regular water, but only the unhappy rats continue drinking the drugged water. This is
believed to show the connection between happiness and drug use. So many people struggle with
addiction, is it possible that pure happiness is the cure to this disease? If you believe this experiment to
be true, this could very well show that the cure has been found.
Think about a drug addict who has been arrested for possession of a substance, this individual is now
sentenced to do some time in jail; what happens when they get out of jail?
There is a significant amount less of job opportunities open to them now compared to before they got
arrested. Society will forever view this person as a criminal, which weighs heavily on this individual. In
Portugal drugs are decriminalized and the money that was typically used to arrest addicts is now spent
to rehabilitate addicts. They are set up with secure housing and subsidized jobs so they feel they have a
purpose in life. They are taught how to reconnect with others again and how to manage their feelings.
This approach is acting out the “Rat Park Experiment” in real life; the addicts are given a purpose in life
which they may not have felt they had before. By simply giving someone a job you are making them feel
as if they have something to look forward to every day. During the time the individual was using they
may have lost contact with people who did not support the lifestyle they were living, teaching the
individual how to reconnect with those loved ones again will also help the individual feel better