Addiction Tuesdays “The Opposite of Addiction is Connection”

As I shared in the original post: Addiction Tuesdays, I go to group counseling every Tuesday as well as single/private counseling. The group is called connections and although we have watched videos on connections and had little assignments based on connections AND my (common sense understanding of connections) I still didn’t quite understand the premise behnd Connections.

Although I consider myself an empathetic person (even the strength finders test says so) I still carry the old school mentallity that you can’t fix anything making excuses. Because of this I had a hard time understanding how all this touchy feely connections business would help every addict through recovery. I wanted to prove the old school thought wrong so I looked up the basis for this Connections school of thought and that is when I found out about :

The Rat Park, a study conducted by Bruce K. Alexander, in an edited synopsis original studies in addiction had (I’m going to call them mice because it’s a much cuter name) mice in individual boxes with regular water and drug infused water, the mice continuously chose the drug infused water but once the study was change to include a “Rat Heaven” where the mice could play freely, make babies and raise families they would completely ignore the drug infused water! So in a nutshell, they realized social mice/people need healthy connections!

Here I thought I had come to some fabulous realization about addiction and revovery! I even went to counseling and enthuisiastically regurgatated what I could remember about the “Rat Park”. Ahead of this appt for the first time I answered a list of questions called “The ACE test”: Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Today I started to do a little more research that said: wait a minute, we can’t just base addiction treatment on happy mice! (of course I was devestated because although rationally I knew it sounded to simple, I still wanted to believe it) The updated research went on to say that 60% of Americans have at least 1 adverse childhood experience and 25% have experienced at least 3. People with an ACE score of 5 or higher are up to ten times more likely to experience addiction. Of course my score was 8. Typically I would slide a joke in right here but I’ll behave!

So really this all tells me what I already know

I have to process my childhood trauma to really move forward…..blah blah blah

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