Methamphetamine Fact vs Fiction
Jun 21, 2018
Dr Carl Hart is a Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University. In this conference presentation from 2016, Dr Hart describes his research which attempts to replicate some of the findings from the famous 'rat park' experiment in human participants - experiments that show how environmental factors contribute to substance problems. He shows how 'attractive alternatives' decrease drug use and that these alternatives are often unavailable in impoverished communities.
In one of Dr Hart's studies, people who were dependent on methamphetamine were offered a hit of pure meth or an alternative reinforcer of $20USD. The methamphetamine dependent participants chose $20 on nearly every occasion. Dr Hart's research shows how substance use disorders involve more factors that just the drug itself, with other factors including co occurring illness such as chronic pain and psychiatric conditions, along with broader social conditions. He advocates for a holistic assessment of people to determine what is driving the addiction including all other individual and societal factors.