[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px” width=”1/1″ id=”” class=”post-content” style=””][text_output]Drug treatment policy is built on imprisoning offenders and placing users into rehabilitation centres where they have no access to drugs. It is based on a commonly held belief that people choose drugs and those who do are largely treated as criminals. This view was supported by several experiments which found that when a rat is placed alone in a cage with access to drug infused water and pure water, it becomes addicted to the drugged water and eventually dies from malnutrition.
However, during the 1970s, a Canadian psychologist, Bruce Alexander of Simon Fraser University also conducted experiments, but his findings, published in 1981, challenged this logic. He theorised that it was natural for an isolated and lonely rat to choose drugs. He, therefore, placed an addicted rat in a Rat Park; a lush cage with friends, food and toys to make it happy while allowing free access to both drugged and drug-free water. In this happy environment, the rat eventually stopped choosing the drugs.
In the hospital, people are often given strong doses of addictive drugs to numb pain, but they don’t get addicted. Once the pain is gone and they return to the love of friends and family, they don’t need the drug. These same drugs can turn drug-users who are alone and unhappy into helpless addicts. In Alexander’s experiment, isolation ends by placing a rat with other rats. Humans are, however, far more complex. Isolation for humans happens in the heart. In many instances, they choose to isolate themselves.
Most people will admit that they can be in a crowd and still be alone. However, when isolated, people always choose something that fills the void created by isolation. At some time, we may just love to put on noise-cancelling headsets and focus, or lock away from the world and read a book. Sometimes, we want to take a hike by ourselves and just breathe. This is okay, but when we can’t manage without solitude, or love our own company more than socialising, this may be a problem.
There are many instances of people who play online games with others for hours or days but can’t manage actual conversations outside the game. Most people are unable to look someone in the eye when they talk. Some call themselves quiet and avoid talking, but they are just people whose hearts are blocked and unable to connect with others. This connection is essential for our health and well-being. Remember, isolation caused addiction that eventually killed rats and our isolation is affecting us too.
People may like being alone periodically, but if they are uncomfortable around others, that is a clear sign of isolation. Locking away and using a substitute for connecting and sharing with someone is becoming far too common. Unfortunately, technology is fuelling this, giving us more substitutes thereby creating people with weak and unconnected hearts; electronics are our new best friends. Unable to manage the stress of people, we continue to choose our own company, then, our relationships suffer and never get a chance to develop.
Do you PREFER your own company?
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