THE VIEW FROM RAT PARK
What is this thing called “addiction”? Do drugs really have the power to transform regular citizens into mouth-foaming demons?
This edition we bring you an awesome comic from the world of Stuart McMillen about a series of experiments in the 1970s called “Rat Park” that explores this very theme. Below ia an excerpt – but you can read the entire comic at Stuart's website. Visit www.stuartmcmillen.com. for more of his work.
Original models of drug “addiction” were based on experiments with rats. Rat Park tells the story of how a researcher found it was the environment and the way the rats were treated that determined their drug taking behaviour rather than the “addictive” properties of the drugs.
At NUAA, we do not use the terms “addiction” or “addict” - these are unhelpful and scientifically flawed labels that strip people who use drugs of our humanity. We have kept the terms in the comic here as the experiments were about whether or not the concept is valid. We are satisfied that Alexander turns “addiction” on its head!
Of course, some people do develop physical and emotional dependencies to drugs while others use drugs in a non-dependent way. Research has shown that drug use is a behaviour like any other behaviour and can be changed.
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