Emotional Wellbeing TED-Ed Series | What Causes Addiction ?

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Everything we think we know about heroin addiction is wrong. Kurzgesagt cites two studies of addiction that suggest that addiction is a symptom of the present-day disconnection of people.

Watch the video to find out how rats react to different environments where drugs are present.  The results are quite surprising…

Rat Cage

One rat in the ‘Rat Cage’, is provided with two bottles, one  containing heroin and another containing water.

What bottle did the rat choose?

Rat Park

Many rats in another cage, the ‘Rat Park’, with  things to play with, plastic tunnels to scuttle in and out of, and the same two bottles.

What bottle did the rats choose?

Vietnam War

In the Vietnam War, 20% of soldiers took heroin. They were studied when discharged back to the USA.

How many continued taking heroin?

Heroin addiction is not just chemicals, but the ‘cage’ in which we live.  Humans need to connect and bond.  Often, people who are addicted to chemicals can be isolated in some way, either physically or psychologically.  The war on drugs puts addicts into the ‘Rat Cage’. However, stigmatising and verbally abusing them will likely only lead to them staying addicted to substances.

Other addictions, and compulsive behaviours include gambling, pornography, digital games.

At a collective level, society needs to be in ‘Rat Park’, to re-connect and re-discover each other. The good life is having good relationships with people, not with addictions.

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