Environment, not drugs, causes drug addiction, study finds

Originally published at SeattleCentralCircuit.com

rat park

Bruce Alexander of Simon Fraser University has shown that rats who live in a large, appealing environment with other rats will choose regular tap water over opiate-laced water—even rats who are already addicted to opiates.

If generalizable to humans, the study shows that rather than drug use leading to drug addiction and poverty, poverty leads to drug use and addiction. Such a conclusion would dramatically undermine the rationale for punitive drug laws. As blogger Garry Tan writes, “Perhaps it’s time the war on drugs becomes a war on the existence of poverty?”

Read the BBC’s coverage of the study here.

Read the original study here.

And read Stuart McMillian’s comic-book version here.

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One comment

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