What do you think causes addiction? Is the war on drugs failing to address the root of habitual drug use? Conventional wisdom is that the chemicals in drugs work on the mind to make it nearly impossible for drug users to resist the temptation – and this has led to the mainstream idea that we should fight drugs with government bans or that we should treat users medicinally. But what if the problem is more complex than that? What if the real foundation of this issue extends to the very bedrock of how our society influences individuals?
Our guest, Dr. Bruce Alexander, is a psychologist and professor emeritus who has taught and conducted research on the psychology of addiction at Simon Fraser University since 1970. He is best known for his work in the “Rat Park” experiments on drug addiction in the 1970s, which contradicted the dominant theories of addiction at that time. He is the author of “The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit.”