The following video is inspired by Johann Hari’s New York Times bestseller Chasing the Scream : The first and last days of the war on drugs . It is explained that beyond the idea of defining an addiction that after 21 days of using a substance your body begins to crave it as a result of chemical hooks in drugs, our connection to each other and our environment also has an immense impact.
Based on research, the theory in the video shows that when we are taken out of (what we consider to be) a positive environment and end up in dire circumstances or feeling very lonely, addictions develop. For example, in one study, a rat is placed in a cage only with two types of water, plain water and water laced with heroin. He chooses the variant with heroin until he dies from it.
However, rats that stayed in a heavenly rat park preferred plain water. During the Vietnam War, 20% of the soldiers took heroin during their deployment. When they returned, they stopped and resumed their normal lives. How come? Because, as is stated in the video, “it’s not about the fabrics, but about the cage.”
As humans we have a natural urge to connect and make contact. When we have a positive environment and can do that, we are healthy and happy. When we are isolated and living a life of fear and sorrow, like a rat in a cage or a soldier in war, we turn to something that will alleviate the lack of contact. That addiction can be anything from endlessly staring at your phone, playing video games, watching porn to taking drugs.
“We connect to something because that’s our human nature,” they say.
What the video concludes is that we need to stop focusing on individual recovery and look more at social recovery. We need to stop creating an environment that resembles an empty cage and instead turn it into a beautiful park.