connection & addiction

A writer on ABC TV’s The Drum tonight had a theory about addiction. The first model was a cage with 2 pools of water, 1 of which had heroine or cocaine. Put rats into the cage and they immediately drank the water with the drug content.

However, construct what the writer called a rat playground: a cage with lots of fresh food and healthy drink, other rats to play with, have sex with, new rats then ignored any drug-infused water.

His conclusion was that addiction or at least its precursor, attraction to or seeking drugs was based on being deprived of adequate human contact.

The writer then studied the effort in Portugal where ALL drugs were recently legalised; however, this audacious move was accompanied by initiatives whereby addicts were helped to get jobs, were helped to start businesses, and generally encouraged to form constructive social relationships.

The result was that the statistic of anti-social behaviour: suicides and overdoses have decreased markedly.

What saddened me about the above was that  in the 1970’s I was a flower child; way back then my generation hoped for social changes and improvements in this area. Instead, a politician disappeared in an area connected with illegal cultivation of marijuana. Nothing has changed.


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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One Response to connection & addiction

  1. Edwin Relf says:

    ‘adequate human contact’ YES – but defining ‘adequate’ – determining/facilitating its capacity in a society – giving permission for difference and with the ‘non-different’ people in the populations, enabeling them to have tolerance (grace) to live – in joy one hopes – with social variance. To do all that, I think, we have to pop the cork on ‘belief’: promulgate the notion that relying on ‘beliefs’ – living to them – is just not good enough – that a belief system’ is a mask impeeding facility in social relationships. ‘Belief is not a ‘truth’ foundation and is also often not ‘knowledge’.

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