Listen. There is an addiction epidemic going on folks. From high functioning alcoholics to the homeless on heroin, it’s a big problem with limited solutions.
And that’s sad.
I work in the recovery field. It’s disheartening to read people’s stories each day on the forum, feeling quite limited as to how to help them. But, even if it’s simply connecting with them via cyber space, letting them know they are heard, seen, and loved unconditionally…
Which brings me to the Rat Park Experiment, which proves that one thing is super important when it comes to addiction recovery:
Give rats a choice to drink regular water or water laced with heroin and they’ll sip that heroin concoction till they die.
Add a “Rat Park”, where other rats are present, as well as a nice environment with rat toys, and the rats will choose the community over the heroin.
Rat Park Experiment–Wikipedia.
Community matters. Yes, treatment centers are needed. Counseling is needed. 12 Step groups are needed.
And so is the feeling of being connected to a larger community of people who actually give a crap.
This means NOT sitting alone in a home watching Netflix every night or heading to the bars to numb the pain.
For the addict, this means making the effort to get connected online and face to face with a community of positive peeps.
For the non-addict, this means reaching out the those who are struggling. Whether it’s in a recovery forum, your local rehab, 12 Step group, homeless shelter, neighbors, co-workers, and so on.
We all need a loving environment. We need to feel like we matter.
Because we most certainly do.
Here are some great free addiction links and resources for you to check out.
Recovery Forum – Great place for you to reach out to others, whether you’re struggling with addiction, a loved one of an addict, or simply want to extend support and love.
Memoirs of an Addicted Brain – Marc Lewis is a neuroscientist and was a professor of developmental psychology for many years. He’s written a boat load of publications. His latest two books are about the science of addiction:
The Biology of Addiction. Check it out!
Dean Dauphinais writing about Maia Szalavitz: “Unbroken Brain”: A New, Forward-Thinking Book on Addiction