Rat Park

Addiction: The View from Rat Park

Addiction: The View from Rat Park

Bruce K. Alexander,Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University

If you were a cute little white rat…

Figure 1 - White Rats

…you certainly wouldn’t want to live in a psychology laboratory.

When I was an experimental psychologist, between about 1960 and 1980, white laboratory rats had to live in solitary confinement cellblocks like this…

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Rat Trap: Why Canada's drug policy won't check addiction

Rat Trap: Why Canada’s drug policy won’t check addiction

by Robert Hercz

Walrus Magaizine, 11 March 2008

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Adult, Infant, and Animal Addiction

Extracted from Peele, S. (1985, p. 77-96) The meaning of addiction, Lexington, Mass, USA: DC Heath

The Addicted Animal

The fact that laboratory animals, under the right conditions, will persistently ingest opiates and other drugs has been generalized by many drug commentators to a belief that human beings, along with other mammals, find such drugs inherently rewarding and their use self-perpetuating. This generalization has led to the proposal of metabolic and conditioning theories that support the concept of an inexorable, pharmacological addiction process (see chapter 3). As with other data on drug use and addiction, experimentation with animals yields far more complex results than has been recognized. In particular, research indicates that animals consume opiates only under very limited circumstances. Moreover, research that takes the setting of the animal's drug use into account strongly suggests that many of the same environmental and even psychological mechanisms that playa role in human drug use in fact also do so for animals.

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Rat Park Journal Article 1981


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New Revision of
"The Rise and Fall
of the Official View
of Addiction"
Read Here
Newest Workshop by
Bruce Alexander:
Vero Beach Florida,
21 February 2014
(Healing Our Word and Ourselves Conference). "Eco-Crisis, Spirituality, and Addiction"
Read Now
Bruce Alexander addressing
The Royal Society of Arts
in London: 
What To Do
When Everything Else Fails"
Hear Podcast Now

"Connection" by the DockSreet Band, a song inspired by "The Globalization of Addiction"

New Podcast: Steve Paikin Interviews Bruce Alexander on TVOntario