It is widely accepted that the root of addiction is through physical and chemical dependency, but there are new findings that suggest addiction is more so rooted in setting and lack of personal connection. THIS VIDEO explains the possible new finding regarding drug addiction. It’s based off the work of Johann Hari, who has published work on drug addiction.
The study explains that if rat is put in a cage with two water bottles one containing heroin-tainted water, and one containing pure water, the rat will most likely become addicted to the tainted water. The other half of the study changes the variable of solitude. There is larger cage full of stimuli such as balls and tunnels and most importantly other rats. The rats are given the same options of water bottles. Interestingly, the rats hardly ever touch the heroin-tainted water.
The idea here is that people turn to drugs- or any vice- because as humans we crave to bond. We want to bond with other humans and experience. If society leaves someone without any healthy outlets, they may bond with drugs.
Drug addiction is a touchy subject. It’s an unfortunate part of our society, and something that can sometimes be too taboo for mainstream discussion.
For people who are not exposed to drug addiction, it’s easy to sweep it under the rug. But Ireland struggled with heroin addicts since the 1970s. It is estimated that there are over 15,000 heroin addicts in Ireland.
Incarceration have been proven to do little to curb widespread drug addiction. Rehabilitation and education is the only true answer to this issue. This could also help to remove the “junkie” stigma that comes with drug addiction.
We may want to think less about punishing drug users and more about inviting them back to society. Rehabilitation services and harm reduction programs allow users to get the help they need while also educating the public that drug addiction is a societal issue and not just a personal issue for those affected.