Lab habits: Do depressed lab rats dictate international drug policy?

By ernestrome · Nov 8, 2007 · ·
  1. ernestrome

    An old article, but quite interesting.

    And the abstract of the article referred to therein.

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  1. Paracelsus
    The results of the Rat Park experiment supported the idea that persons that live a boring, isolated life are more likely to get addicted to drugs than socially healthy individuals. This contradicted the generally accepted story of drugs being so powerful and evil that they can enslave anyone in addiction. No wonder this research was and is ignored, while studies which are hardly scientific are fed to the public by mainstream media.
  2. Heretic.Ape.
    This is one of the most interesting articles I've seen in a while. I'll take a look to see if I can get us a copy of that study.
  3. D-termine
    Rat Park, The Cure For Drug Abuse?

    Just an interesting article I ran across on another forum, thought I might share

    Rat Park was a study into drug addiction conducted in the 1970s by Canadian psychologist Bruce K. Alexander at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.

    Alexander's hypothesis was that drugs do not cause addiction, and that the apparent addiction to morphine commonly observed in laboratory rats exposed to it is attributable to their living conditions, and not to any addictive property of the drug itself. [1] He told the Canadian Senate in 2001 that experiments in which laboratory rats are kept isolated in cramped metal cages, tethered to self-injection apparatus, show only that "severely distressed animals, like severely distressed people, will relieve their distress pharmacologically if they can." [2]

    To test his hypothesis, Alexander built Rat Park, a 200-square-foot (18.6 m²) housing colony, 200 times the square footage of a standard laboratory cage. There were 16–20 rats of both sexes in residence, an abundance of food, balls and wheels for play, and private places for mating and giving birth. [3] The results of the experiment appeared to support his hypothesis. Rats who had been forced to consume morphine hydrochloride for 57 consecutive days were brought to Rat Park and given a choice between plain tap water and water laced with morphine. For the most part, they chose the plain water. "Nothing that we tried," Alexander wrote, "... produced anything that looked like addiction in rats that were housed in a reasonably normal environment." [1]

    The two major science journals, Science and Nature, rejected Alexander's paper, which appeared instead in Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, a respectable but much smaller journal, and the paper's publication attracted no response. [4] Because of the lukewarm reception, Simon Fraser University withdrew Rat Park's funding.
  4. Paracelsus
    Re: Rat Park, The Cure For Drug Abuse?

    This study, which is most definitely not news, has been discussed before. Use the search engine to find the thread(s).
  5. Kittty
    This is a very good point to be made. Even though, it cannot show any conclusive evidence about anything. It is a good factor to keep in mind when researching addiction. Swim definatly searches for drugs more when she is uncomfortable. It is just common sense. If i have a lot of food and people and happy things filling my life swim is less opt to grab the needle
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