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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:58 pm 
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In the late 1970's, Bruce Alexander conducted the Rat Park experiments in an attempt to better understand the effects of environment on addiction. Instead of keeping his junky rats alone in a wire cage with nothing but heroin to do, he built them a rat paradise. The rats in Rat Park showed some curious behavior: when presented with an unlimited supply of morphine, they chose plain fresh water instead. He even added sugar to the morphine water to make it more appealing, and still the rats just said No.


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A Skinner box is a cage equipped to condition an animal’s behaviour through reward or punishment. In a typical drug test, a surgically implanted catheter is hooked up to a drug supply that the animal self-administers by pressing a lever. Hundreds of trials showed that lab animals readily became slaves to such drugs as heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines. “They were said to prove that these kinds of dope are irresistible, and that’s it, that’s the end of the addiction story right there,” Alexander says. After one particularly fruitless seminar in 1976, he decided to run his own tests.

The problem with the Skinner box experiments, Alexander and his co-researchers suspected, was the box itself. To test that hypothesis, Alexander built an Eden for rats. Rat Park was a plywood enclosure the size of 200 standard cages. There were cedar shavings, boxes, tin cans for hiding and nesting, poles for climbing, and plenty of food. Most important, because rats live in colonies, Rat Park housed sixteen to twenty animals of both sexes.

Rats in Rat Park and control animals in standard laboratory cages had access to two water bottles, one filled with plain water and the other with morphine-laced water. The denizens of Rat Park overwhelmingly preferred plain water to morphine (the test produced statistical confidence levels of over 99.9 percent). Even when Alexander tried to seduce his rats by sweetening the morphine, the ones in Rat Park drank far less than the ones in cages. Only when he added naloxone, which eliminates morphine’s narcotic effects, did the rats in Rat Park start drinking from the water-sugar-morphine bottle. They wanted the sweet water, but not if it made them high.



The addicted rats in Rat Park even kicked their habits voluntarily when given the option to do so:

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In a variation he calls “Kicking the Habit,” Alexander gave rats in both environments nothing but morphine-laced water for fifty-seven days, until they were physically dependent on the drug. But as soon as they had a choice between plain water and morphine, the animals in Rat Park switched to plain water more often than the caged rats did, voluntarily putting themselves through the discomfort of withdrawal to do so.


Maybe this offers an explanation as to why some people can use addictive drugs without becoming addictive. It might also offer some ideas as to why addiction treatment so often fails. Maybe we're focused on the wrong things. Maybe we need to fix the issues that seem to so often foster addiction: poverty, loneliness, lack of community, lack of spirituality.

You can read more about the Rat Park experiments at the link above or here.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:13 pm 
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This is pretty interesting. Maybe we all need to think like rats?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:41 pm 
Maybe during that study, there was one big fat rat suckin' down all the morphine water and the other rats just couldn't get to it! 8) jk

Very interesting. Thanks for posting that, Diary.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:43 pm 
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Reminds me of an Onion article:

Cat Shits Outside the Box


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:49 pm 
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Har Dee Har Har, you boys are SO FUNNY!!!

:lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:14 pm 
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I think the big rat sucking it all down was named Hermann Goering, a morphine addict


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:55 pm 
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Kinda shows that rats are often smarter than ppl


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:31 pm 
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bumping this up for jamez.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:32 pm 
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Thanks! This is great

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:44 pm 
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I appreciate the post, I found this study to be very interesting and it gave me a lot of insight on things....Thanks!!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:25 am 
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Fascinating! Thanks for that.


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 Post subject: Sounds Good
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:49 am 
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Can people get into this Disney World for Rats....
Not sure if I would have become the addict I am if I lived there!!! LOL....
Actually very informative.. Thanks for the post DOAQ!
Stay Strong & Stay Clean........

God Bless
TW


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:35 am 
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maybe the rats are so stupid that they just go back to the other water because the clean water taste better. And that would make people to smart for their own good.

So rats are smarter than people, "i knew it all along" I had this damn rat in mt house living there for like 2 months and I could never catch the little bastard. I think he was one of the lab rats trying to steel my subs to make a better life for himself :)

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 Post subject: Expectations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:31 pm 
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That is a really interesting study, thank you Diary. And yes, sometimes it does seem like people are too smart for their own good, doesn't it. So...rats that lived in a healthy environment with plenty of opportunities for the kind of activities and social interactions that are natural for rats did not stay addicted to opiates even when encouraged to, while rats that lived in isolated cages with nothing to do but eat drink, do drugs, and maybe run around and around a manually operated treadmill were likely to stay addicted?

Well, rats are not exactly the same as humans but that is a really interesting study for sure. It reminded me that I have read that mostly of the U.S. soldiers who became heroin addicts during the Vietnam War while serving in Vietnam stopped using heroin when they returned home and did not have further trouble with opiate addiction after that. For them, the addiction was situational.

Although I take responsibility for my own actions, I have often wondered how much expectations can have to do with how things turn out for us. For me, because of my background, it always seemed to fit the expectation that I would do drugs and in particular that I might do opiates and might end up an addict. But it also seems to me that the expectations of how hard it is to quit, etc, might make things worse.


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 Post subject: Re: Expectations
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:57 pm 
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autononymous wrote:
But it also seems to me that the expectations of how hard it is to quit, etc, might make things worse.


I have to agree. The person that expects hellish withdrawals will get what s/he expects whereas the person who doesn't have the same expectations will probably have an easier time of it. I say this based on some of what I've read on this forum as well as how expectations in general can color other events in our lives.

Just my two cents.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:56 am 
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Wow what a great topic, very interesting! Now I see why you're a moderator Hat :) I truley belive the severity of withdrawl
is mental.
I talk about mental discaplin all the time, this is a big factor in how I've aquired it. By having to endure withdrawl without

people around me knowing. It's partially because I've never been one to complaine about a lot of things, or show that I'm in
pain.

This was back when I was doing dope, and those are some of the worst withdralws. Now, I can apply this to when I begin tapering my suboxone, and eventually jump off it. I've recently had to apply it while transitioning from methadone to suboxone. I was told to wait at least 4 days(less or more depending on my metabolizm) I've always had a very fast metabolizm, but I sure didn't wanna risk going into precipitated withdrawl, and we all know the horrendus half life of methadone.

So on day 4 I was in pretty bad shape, but it's not like I was curled up in a ball, throwing up and shitting on myself. Even though some of the worst symptoms for me are lower back pain, and lack of energy and motivation during withdrawl(we all have the same symptoms, just some we find worse then others) I was still able to muster the courage to get outside and screw around with the dog, and the garden and whatever. At least get up and do something.

When I wasa trying to kick dope, I would always force myself to get up and get moving, hard as that was it always put me in a better mood, and more positive state of mind, not to mention it helped tons with the physical dicomfort.

Your mind is the most powerful thing you have. Did you know monks are actually able to raise their body temperature to the point where if they sit in a freezing room, and you throw wet towles on their backs, you will see steam rising from them because they are so warm. I've seen it on a documentry. It's fucking insane.

You can basically "force" yourself, or train your mind endure withdralws. Thats what people usually mean by "push through" being sick. We all have it in us, we just have to do it.

Man has created and done AMAZING, incomprehendable things in the past, present and will be into the future. We put men on the moon, built crafts that can withstand the amazing forces of our atmosphere. If man can do that, we can surley overcome these stupid rediculus opiates. ALL of us. Thanks for listening guys! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:02 am 
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Wow. This pretty much backs up with what I just posted about withdrawals


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