Video Transcript
00:00
what causes say heroin addiction this is
00:04
a really stupid question right it’s
00:06
obvious we all know it
00:07
heroin causes heroin addiction here’s
00:10
how it works if you use heroin for 20
00:13
days by day 21 your body would
00:16
physically crave the drug ferociously
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because there are chemical hooks in the
00:19
drug that’s what addiction means but
00:22
there’s a catch
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almost everything we think we know about
00:26
addiction is wrong if you for example
00:35
break your hip you’ll be taken to a
00:38
hospital and you’ll be given loads of
00:39
diamorphine for weeks or even months
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diamorphine is heroin it’s in fact much
00:45
stronger heroin than any addict can get
00:47
on the street because it’s not
00:49
contaminated by all the stuff drug
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dealers dilute it with there are people
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near you being given loads of deluxe
00:55
heroin in hospitals right now so at
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least some of them should become addicts
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but this has been closely studied it
01:02
doesn’t happen the old grandmother
01:04
wasn’t turned into a junkie by her hip
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replacement why is that our current
01:10
theory of addiction comes in part from a
01:11
series of experiments that were carried
01:13
out earlier in the 20th century the
01:15
experiment is simple you take a rat and
01:18
put it in a cage with two water bottles
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one is just water the other is water
01:23
laced with heroin or cocaine almost
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every time you run this experiment the
01:27
rat will become obsessed with the
01:28
drugged water and keep coming back for
01:31
more and more until it kills itself but
01:34
in the 1970s
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Bruce Alexander a professor of
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psychology noticed something odd about
01:39
this experiment the rat is put in the
01:41
cage all alone it has nothing to do but
01:44
take the drugs what would happen he
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wondered if we tried this differently so
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he built rat Park which is basically
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heaven for rats
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it’s a lush cage where the rats would
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have cutted balls tunnels to scamper
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down plenty of friends to play with and
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they could have loads of sex everything
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a rat about town could want and they
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would have the drugged water and the
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normal water bottles but here’s the
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fascinating thing
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in rat Park rats hardly ever used the
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drugged water none of them ever use it
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compulsively none of them ever overdose
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but maybe this is a quirk of rats right
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well helpfully there was a human
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experiment along the same lines the
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Vietnam War 20% of American troops in
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Vietnam were using a lot of heroin
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people back home were really panicked
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because they thought there would be
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hundreds of thousands of junkies on the
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streets of the United States when the
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war was over but a study followed the
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soldiers home and found something
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striking they didn’t go to rehab
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they didn’t even go into withdrawal
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ninety-five percent of them just stopped
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after they got home if you believe the
02:46
old theory of addiction that makes no
02:49
sense but if you believe professor
02:50
Alexander’s theory it makes perfect
02:52
sense because if you’re put into a
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horrific jungle in a foreign country
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where you don’t want to be and you could
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be forced to kill or die at any moment
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doing heroin is a great way to spend
03:02
your time but if you go back to your
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nice home with your friends and your
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family it’s the equivalent of being
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taken out of that first cage and put
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into a human rat Park it’s not the
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chemicals
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it’s your cage we need to think about
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addiction differently human beings have
03:18
an innate need to bond and connect when
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we are happy and healthy we will bond
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with the people around us but when we
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can’t because we’re traumatized isolated
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or beaten down by life we will bond with
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something that gives us some sense of
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relief it might be endlessly checking a
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smartphone it might be pornography video
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games reddit gambling or it might be
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cocaine but we will bond with something
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because that is our human nature the
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path out of unhealthy bonds is to form
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healthy bonds to be connected to people
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you want to be present with addiction is
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just one symptom of the crisis of
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disconnection that’s happening all
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around us we all feel it since the 1950s
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the average number of close friends in
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American has has been steadily declining
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at the same time the amount of floor
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space in their homes has been steadily
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increasing to choose floor space over
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friends to choose stuff over connection
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the war on drugs we’ve been fighting for
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almost a century now has made everything
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worse instead of helping people heal and
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getting their life together
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we have cast them out from society we
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have made it harder for them to get jobs
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and become stable
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we take benefits and support away from
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them if we catch them with drugs we
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throw them in prison cells which are
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literally cages we put people who are
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not well in a situation that makes them
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feel worse and hate them for not
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recovering for too long we’ve talked
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only about individual recovery from
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addiction but we need now to talk about
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social recovery because something has
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gone wrong with us as a group we have to
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build a society that looks a lot more
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like rat Park and a lot less like those
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isolated cages we are going to have to
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change the unnatural way we live and
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rediscover each other the opposite of
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addiction is not sobriety the opposite
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of addiction is connection
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this video is a collaboration with
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Johann Hari the author of the book
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chasing The Scream the first and last
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days of the war on drugs he was very
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kind to work with us on this video to
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spread the word we recommend that you
05:22
give the book a try our videos are made
05:25
thanks to your support on patreon.com if
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you want to help us make more of them we
05:30
really appreciate your support
05:31
we made an interactive version of this
05:34
video together with some friends see the
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link in the description
05:38

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