Find Local Treatment Options
Call 800-481-6320 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Social Isolation & Addiction: What We Know About a Rat in a Cage

If you’re old enough to remember the Nancy Regan War on Drugs campaign, then you remember the research on addicted rats. If you’re young enough that the 1980s seems like the Dark Ages, here’s a brief explanation.

You take a rat. You put him in a cage. You give him self-administrative access to drug-laced water or food. And you watch. The rat quickly becomes addicted to the drug and stops doing the normal things rats do, things like eating and sleeping. The rat eventually dies due to either drug overdose or self-neglect.

These experiments soon lead to a steadfast understanding in addiction. Basically that once addicted, without intervention you don’t stop until you die. And for years, that’s what people believed.

But you know what?

Social Isolation

Being socially isolated can make you feel bad for yourself, which triggers substance abuse.

People are wrong.

While the rat in a cage experiments do give an insight into addiction, the experiments are fundamentally flawed. Like humans, rats are social creatures. In the wild, they live in large family groups and interact with others constantly throughout the day.

Now here’s where things get interesting.

Take that same rat, the one who’s addicted. And put him in a cage with other rats. Make sure there’s plenty of room and lots of fun things that rats like to do.

And you know what happens?

The obsessive addiction goes away. The rat starts interacting with his peers. He starts eating. Sleeping. Drinking plain water. And goes on to live a happily ever after rat life.

So what’s this mean?

Social Isolation Drives Addiction

While all the implications aren’t known, it’s obvious that social isolation not only drives addiction, but keeps people addicted. When there’s nowhere else to turn when life gets bad, people turn towards drugs. If you’re addicted to drugs and looking for a way to get sober, call 800-481-6320 today to find the immediate help that can save your life.

If you’re still skeptical, consider what happened during the Vietnam War. Heroin was ramped in Vietnam and American soldiers were not immune to it.

It’s estimated that nearly 20 percent of the soldiers stationed in Vietnam were addicted to heroin. Yet, once they returned home, there wasn’t a huge spike in heroin abuse in the states, nor was there a spike in the number of people admitted into drug and alcohol rehab. No. The majority of these men and women, some 95 percent, simply stopped using.

Now, yes, they probably went through withdrawal, and yes, it was uncomfortable, but the fact remains that these people, once returned to a healthy environment, got clean and stayed clean.

How to Provide Healthy Support to a Loved One in Recovery

Avoiding Isolation in Recovery

What happens to an isolated rat in a cage shows how important it is to avoid social isolation, especially in recovery. Addiction is isolation. Fight it by putting yourself out there. Have people in your life that you talk to every day.

Go to family events. Go to meetings. Just don’t stay home by yourself, day after day. Because if you do, soon you’re going to start feeling bad for yourself. Then those feelings turn into self-pity and self-disgust. And that drives you to use.

Don’t be the rat in the cage. Seek the help you need and do what it takes to remain sober. If you’re ready to embrace a life of recovery, call 800-481-6320 today to find the help you need.

More Rehab Centers Resources

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Effects and the Need for Treatment

Traumatic experiences trigger protective responses throughout the body, causing a surge of chemicals to flood the brain. Depending on a person’s physiological make-up, these effects can have a lasting impression on his or her mental and emotional well-being. Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD develops out of these conditions. According to the University of Colorado at….

Continue reading

Your Worst Enemy in Recovery Might be You!

Don't be your own worst enemy in recovery!

What’s the biggest challenge you will face in recovery? If you said anything besides “YOU” then you are wrong! That’s right, your worst enemy in recovery, the one that is likely sabotaging your rehabilitation and making things worse is YOU. It’s not your friends, it’s not a poor home life or a dysfunctional family that….

Continue reading

Rehab Centers Welcomes Maryland Drug and Alcohol Treatment Provider Calvert Treatment Facility to the Network

Calvert Treatment Facility can help you recover from your addiction!

Calvert Treatment Facility and Rehab Centers have come together to provide greater access to drug and alcohol rehabilitation services in Maryland effectively leading more residents along the journey to recovery. Rehab Centers is a community resource that specializes in promoting rehabilitation services of rehab centers throughout the United States. Recently, Calvert Treatment Facility of Maryland….

Continue reading

Special Considerations in Women’s Rehab

recovery from addiction

According to SAMHSA, there are a number of barriers that women tend to encounter in treatment. Some are unique to women while others are just generally more common for women. For instance, women suffer from a myriad of issues pertaining to their roles as mothers, caregivers and the foundation for a household. Often times, challenges….

Continue reading

How to Beat Marijuana Addiction with Marijuana Rehab

One of the primary difficulties with developing a dependence on marijuana is that other people may not recognize it as a problem. The continuing legalization of the drug and the fact that it has medicinal properties causes people to dismiss that it is possible to have an unhealthy relationship with it. But, cigarettes have a….

Continue reading

Tips for Choosing Local Rehab Centers

rehab from addiction

Patients who are treated at local rehab centers undergo their rehabilitation in a safe environment that is in close proximity to their friends and family making them feel a little more at ease. For the recovering addict, there is a sense of ease knowing their surroundings, not that they are home but in an area….

Continue reading

The New Direction Intensive Inpatient Alcohol Treatment

Inpatient alcohol treatment is more intensive and helps on a deeper level.

Walton, New York alcohol treatment center, The New Direction, provides an intensive inpatient alcohol treatment program that helps addicts recover from alcoholism and regain control of their lives. The New Direction has been providing patients with intensive inpatient alcohol treatment in Walton, New York since 1977. Founded on the philosophy that recovering addicts who are….

Continue reading

5 Ways Free Rehab Facilities Can Help You

rehab for free

Many people avoid attending rehab because they believe it will be too expensive. However, free rehab facilities can help you in many ways and allow you to receive the treatment you need without the expense of attending a private facility that provides no payment assistance. We can help you find treatment. Call toll free anytime…..

Continue reading

Still can't find the help you are looking for?Get Started Now
Accepted Insurances / View the full list
For inquiries call800-481-6320

Accepted Insurances Does My Insurance
Cover This?
I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE NOWFree and Confidential. Call http://rehabcenters.com800-481-6320Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares