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Tag Archives: Addiction

Isolation’s role in addiction, graphically illustrated

This graphic comic by Stuart McMillan illustrates how early studies on lab rats and addiction went long by not looking at isolation and social settings.

McMillan talks here about what went into the creation of this comic:

The Rat Park researchers were originally united in their view that the 1950s/60s experiments had design flaws which undermined their usefulness as ‘proof’ for addictive drugs. However, the team was divided with predictions about what would happen to the colony rats if given free access to opiates. …

Also worth reading is Bruce Alexander’s Adult, Infant, and Animal Addiction (1985). Written after some of the dust had settled (including the Rat Park funding running out), the article describes the other experiments which were conducted in Rat Park, and by other similar animal drug experiments around the world. It mentions times where the results of the original, famous experiments were not repeated. …

It is clear that scientific accuracy is important to Bruce, and that he is not simply promoting Rat Park for personal glory. He recognises that the Rat Park experiments do not necessarily ‘prove’ anything regarding human drug addictions. After all, rats are rats, and people are people. Yet he sees the findings of Rat Park as consistent with his larger body of research into human addictions.

Anyway, read away, and view away.

A Round or Two with Mike Tyson

More than a few recovering alcoholics/addicts, myself included, have compared their time in active addiction to getting into the ring with “Iron” Mike Tyson, and for good reason. The former undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world (1987 – 1990) was widely known during his heyday for crushing his opponents, sometimes in as little as a few rounds, and then for finding … interesting ways to take them out even in his decline.

Coupled with some of his behavior outside the ring that signified him as a bad, bad dude who would put the hurt on you one way or the other, the comparison was apt: Whatever any of us wanted to believe going in – “Well, maybe just one more round, for old time’s sake.” Or, “One or two rounds never hurt anyone.” Or, one of my personal favorites, “If I could just MAKE myself quit after the third round, I’d be alright,” or any of the other 1,001 things we told ourselves – chances were still better than great that we would wind up getting our asses kicked again and again and again, with little to no variation on the theme.

Finally, our last best hope to become the champions of our own lives was to not just get out of the ring and leave Iron Mike alone, but to STAY out. For good.   (READ MORE…..)

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