Studies show that rats placed in empty cages with the choice to drink drug-laced water or normal water will drink the drug-laced water until they kill themselves. On the other hand, rats placed in cage with plenty of friends, potential mates, and an interesting play environment do not choose the drug-laced water. This simple experimental finding has profound implications for how we think about and treat addictive disorders. Like rats, humans are mammals with a deeply wired need for social connection.
At Welwynn, healing isolation is a major facet of our treatment philosophy. Three days a week, clients attend group therapy, where they can give and receive support and heal from the isolation of addiction and the social wounds which often precede it. Additionally, we provide family therapy to improve the health of our clients’ most important relationships. Individual therapy provides a safe and private space for clients to share deeper vulnerabilities with a trusted confidant.
Check out this AMAZING Ted talk which explains these ideas in more depth and provides practical things we can do as individuals and as a society to prevent and heal addictive disorders.