Even if you yourself have never had problems with addiction, odds are good it has touched someone close to you.
We’ve long though addiction was the result of chemical imbalances in the brain, but newer research suggests there may be a social component as well.
For instance, consider what addiction expert and New York Times best-seller author Johann Hari has to say in his book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. According to Hari, addiction is what can result when we feel a lack of human connection.
This is why some people can try a drug and walk away fine, unaddicted, and others are immediately hooked: It goes back to our sense of connection, Hari says.
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection,” he writes in a Huffington Post column.
Or consider Bruce Alexander’s rat and drug tests from the 1970’s. Alexander laced water with drugs, then placed the water in rats’ cages. For rats who had been socialized, and were with other rats, there were no obvious signs of addiction. When rats who had not been socialized, however, and were kept in separate cages were given the drug-laced water, they showed clear signs of addiction.
Similarly, there are anecdotal stories about soldiers who became addicted to heroin while at war in Vietnam who simply quit once home and back with loved ones.
As a result, there’s a developing body of science that suggests addiction is as much social in nature as biological.
Learn more in the video below:
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.