AEE 611: How Connection Prevents Addiction and What It Means for Your Life

connection and drug use

Why is connection between people so important? Why do we focus on connection so much on this show when it comes to learning English and building a happy life?

In today’s episode you’ll learn about a TED Talk where we hear evidence that connection between people may prevent addiction.

We’ll also talk about what this could mean for your life and how to set up a “connected” lifestyle that is robust with a sense of community and purpose.

Can being more connected to other people or to a sense of purpose actually prevent you from forming harmful addictions to drugs, food, even the internet?

In this TED Talk   Johann Hari talks about the studies that have been done on rats where they learned a lot about what may prevent a rat from becoming addicted to a drug.

 

 

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What was the experiment?

Hari talks about an experiment done in the 1970’s where they put a rat in a cage and let him choose between plain water and water with heroine or another drug.

The idea was that the rat would become an addict, overdose, and eventually die.

They realized that the rat was alone in the cage with nothing else to do but become addicted.

They found that when they put the rats in a rat park with other rats and lots of cheese they didn’t like the drug water.

None of them used it compulsively or overdosed.

It went from 100% overdose rate when isolated to 0% overdose rate when the rats had connected lives.

 

What does this mean for people?

They asked this question: what if addiction is about the “cage” that you live in?

Humans want to bond naturally but if they can’t do it because they are feeling bad about something happening in their lives then they will create that bond with a drug or with alcohol or something else.

 

What are your addictions?

Are you addicted to your Smartphone?

Would those Facebook fans come to you if you were in a crisis?

Are they real connections or do they only feel like real connections?

Hari also said that the number of close friends the average American can call on in a crisis has been declining steadily since the 1950’s but the average amount of floor space has been going up.

This means that Americans have been putting more emphasis on acquiring big, beautiful houses than on building solid, lasting connections.

Is this happening in your country too?

 

How can you increase connection in English?

 

How can you design your life for more connection?

  • Live in a tiny house! This goes counter to our cultural ideas that we should have more space to show off but with a tiny house you have no space so you’re forced to be out of the house building connections with other people.
  • Try couchsurfing.com when you’re traveling instead of hotels. This allows you to connect with a local person in your destination city, share a meal, and maybe even get a tour. You will leave feeling much more connected and you get a place to stay for free! (note- be careful if you are traveling alone as a woman).
  • Join a club – If you like to run then join a run club once per week instead of running alone.

 

What are your thoughts on today’s episode?

What’s happening in your country regarding drug addiction, law enforcement, and human connections?

Let us know in the comments below.

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