Read about and Watch Bruce K. Alexander and Rat Park

March 9, 2024 by Joshua
in Addiction

Regular readers know I write about addiction here a lot, especially the heavy addiction in Washington Square Park, where I see syringes all the time, as well as people smoking rocks in those small glass pipes. I guess it could be crack, meth, or other stuff.

As you might expect, addiction features heavily in my upcoming book. I sent a part to podcast guest and bestselling author of The Urge, Carl Erik Fisher, about the history of addiction and his personal experience with it. I hoped for his views on what I wrote, corrections if I got anything wrong, and advice in general.

A big part of his advice was to read several links by and about Bruce K. Alexander’s work. If you’ve heard of Rat Park, Alexander is the man behind it. I’d heard of it but wasn’t thinking about it while writing my book.

I read all the links Carl sent, plus more, plus watched a bunch of videos. It’s been less than a week, so I haven’t read Alexander’s book, The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit, but it’s on the list. His references to it in the links below suggest overlap with my views, though he published it fifteen years ago.

I recommend his work. It will change your view of addiction. You will see our isolation from each other and nature and how addiction is one of our responses to it.

His home page: Bruce K. Alexander’s Globalization of Addiction Website

Articles Alexander wrote that I’ve read so far:

His Rat Park story in comic book format: New Rat Park Comic Book by Stuart McMillen

Carl’s newsletter page: Welcome to Rat Park

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