rat park

Decent Essays
English 926
March 12,2013

Rat Park In Lauren Slater’s article Rat Park, Slater talks about Bruce Alexander’s study and experiments on addiction. Alexander’s experiment consists of lab rats in two environments. The first is a caged environment and the second was a “perfect environment” called Rat Park. Rats in each environment were given two choices of water. One study group had regular water and the second was a form of heroin in water. The caged rats chose to drink the drugged water until they were placed into the “perfect” rat park environment. Once placed in this environment, theses rats stopped drinking the drugged water and started to drink the regular water. The rodents originally placed in the rat park drank
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Brain chemistry can affect different addicts more then others. Drugs and alcohol are more of the main addictions that brain chemistry affects. Once taking these addictive substances your internal natural drug dopamine is lowers causing you to seek more external addictive substances. This causes craving and makes it a lot harder for the addict to stop. In Olds and Milner’s later experiments, they allowed the rats to press a particular lever to arouse themselves, to the effect that they would press it as much as seven-hundred times per hour. This region soon came to be known as the "pleasure center". Using drugs and alcohol stimulates the pleasure center in the brain that makes your brain think, “feels good- want more“. This can make it increasingly harder for an addict to stop using, until they hit a point called “rock bottom”. This is where choice comes back into play. Now this is where choice in very important. Choice works throughout the entire addiction process along with environment and brain chemistry. Addiction is commonly developed in this order. At this point addiction has taken over the over the life of the individual and usually effects anyone close to them. The addict must make the choice to continue along this path or pull out of the situation. Not all addicts have to hit “rock bottom” to overcome their addiction. Addiction can show its self in many different forms and is not the same for everyone. It can effect people in
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