RATS!!! why addiction?

Image result for rat park There’s no question that addiction to drugs and alcohol can happen to anyone. It doesn’t discriminate. Some of us might have begun in search of acceptance. Others might of thought it was the cool thing to do. Maybe we just grew up around it. Being the why's are as diverse as the types of people who are affected I don’t want to dwell in this water of wonder. I would like to share an experiment called rat park.

In 1978, Canadian psychologist Bruce K. Alexander conducted an experiment where he got rats addicted to drugs. He wanted to see if environment had impact on drug usage. In one cage there was nothing but two bottles of water. One was spiked with opiates. The rats would use so much they'd die from malnutrition. [LINK]

In another "cage" he made an amazing "park" filled with other rats and activities. The rats in this "rat park" chose to not use the spiked water. To take the experiment further he got rats addicted for 57 days then introduced them to rat park. Surprisingly they went though the withdrawal until they could play in the park. Seriously? Now that is cool.
Now we know through tragedy and other traumas this isn’t an absolute truth. We also know that humans are social creatures.[LINK] Many of us share interests and uncommon passions. While many of us are divided by differences, others share similarities. We can look at activities as opportunities. A physical library of active communities I believe can curb addiction preemptively and also post actively. Time. It all boils down to how we choose to use our time and who we choose to share it with socially.

When I was released from rehab I wanted to get into everything! Rock climbing, ball room dancing, CrossFit, parkour, obstacle course racing, ninja warrior, running, trampolining, laser tag, slack line, paintball, GoRuck, kayaking I can keep going. You get the idea. You notice something about all these opportunities though? None are offered in school. I didn't even know there were communities of people who did all of these things. I did them alone. 

Sober Active Community

There is an organization called "The Phoenix"  I learned about them through a Ted talk. The idea is awesome. It's a sober active community. They have groups that do many of the different activities above. I talked with them about starting a chapter here in Troy. There is just one thing. Each chapter specializes in one. That isn't my vision. 

My vision is a place people can go that has all of them. It encourages people to try and find the activity that they enjoy. They could even earn awards or certifications for their accomplishments. Not only would it provide opportunity to try these types of things it would also teach people how to see their vision. How to make a habit of reflection and continuously grow. We could call this, The BA2L Grounds. 

Or a place that comes to them. A network connected locally and globally that doesn't discriminate as addiction does not. A mobile mission that goes to schools, jails, rehabs, big cities and small. It would host events and partner with active communities in each area bringing them together all for the advertising of opportunity. The event might build kick butt playgrounds for kids/ adults and when finished have a festival showing it off. Let's call this the Mobile BA2L Mission.

I believe if we can find a way to offer these opportunities to kids and recovering addicts, these activities can save lives. If we change the environment to make opportunity as accessible as possible, people can find what they think is cool and others who think so too.

The BA2L is real,
Be Addicted 2 Life,
Eric

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