Addiction and the Rat Park experiments

This is the pilot episode in our new series on public health. In this video we present a summary of the Rat Park experiments that took place in the 1970’s and the cause of addiction.

This video was produced by with these lovely people:

Script: Solongo Jargalsaikhan
Storyboard: Pascal Gaggelli
Art: Tappy Nolipping
Voice: Matt Abbott
Editing: Ake Sompol

It was produced with the consent of Johann Hari, the author of the book “Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs”. Please checkout the book’s website here:

Also Checkout Stuart McMillen’s comic strip here:

If you are interested in sponsoring this series or if you’d like to make a video like this for yourself, please visit us at or email us to [email protected]

Have a lovely day and please let us know your thoughts in the comments 🙂



40 responses to “Addiction and the Rat Park experiments”

  1. linda peterson Avatar

    very simplistic concept to base wholesale change of policy upon

  2. Katie McD Bruce Avatar


  3. OliveiraDMD Avatar

    amazing video, I will share and mention in my videos…

  4. Name Last Name Avatar

    what do you then? youtube, facebook, twitter make people addicted to being "social" – but in reality they are working for facebook as add generators and are getting paid in dopamine rewards. complete 100% of your profile and you get a medal.. ie complete your profile so we can serve you adds you are more likely to buy.
    this is why you can upload your family photos for free – the strategy of drug dealers is also "first one is for free". facebook is a satanic cult from hell. i hope that piece of shit company crashes and burns

  5. Louise Fagerlund Avatar

    Love this video, and especilly the Illustrations.I would have wished for more diversity in terms off skin colours, body shapes, disabilities, gender roles etc. All the Love to you!

  6. R0LL PHANTOM Avatar

    Its not as easy for people to just change the inviorment as it is for rats sadly, you need to worry about expenses and other nesisities before even thinking about getting to your "rat park" so people don't stop using

  7. Amy Rose Jankowiak Avatar

    What about clinically depressed people or mentally ill people they should be punished as well for turning to drugs i.e. Agoraphobics, social anxiety, PTSD and the list could go on. Maybe you need to think of new ways to help with the war on drugs it's very obvious that the methods being used aren't working. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome. Wow, sounds like the decision makers in this country, repeatedly making the same choices yet hoping the results might be different.

  8. Philgob Avatar

    So basically be happy and you won't do drugs

  9. Tate Gunning Avatar

    Wow, this was good. A great rendition and beautiful artwork, of the Rat Park Experiment. Thank you!

  10. shyam vijay Avatar

    fantastic.. thank you for sharing this.

  11. MrTimjwilson Avatar

    I knew those rats personally and observed the experiments. I can vouch for the validity of the reported results.I was not aware of any attempted repeats. Please do elucidate Vlad Svoka.

  12. Vlad Svoka Avatar

    Would anyone mention that "Rat Park" experiment doesn't lead to consistent results, and several attempts to reproduce it led to opposite conclusions?
    P.S. Video is very nicely done.

  13. Link Avatar

    This is the song from te Minecraft trailer

  14. jakob jørgensen Avatar

    I want a prescription on a well functioning family then!

  15. michael ehrenreich Avatar

    CAN i use this for a class presentation please for Hofstra University , I will cite in in APA format , it 's brillant please pleazse pleese !!!!!!!!!!!! :):):):):):):):)

  16. randall keefauver Avatar

    Folks, only parts of the nervous system of rats is similar to humans. Wild Rats are social creatures, but if you are in their community and you come back sick or injured they are likely to eat you (Not altruistic like humans), they don't have logical reason, and outside of the laboratory-rats do not have any history of addiction to chemicals.
    Portugal does not have an Chemical Addiction level lower than other similar countries, they have a high unemployment rate, so where did all these jobs come from for the miracle recovering addicts and Note: any time you make criminal activity legal the crime rate will drop.

    Dr. Alexander is right, if one improves social skills and opportunity for addicts, their recovery rates will sky-rocket but getting them past that drug affected thinking process to accept a loving pro-social world is a problem.

    Caring groups do help that's why AA and NA have high success rates and Group Therapy works best for addicts. Addiction in humans is harder to correct than being a loving friend.

    I work with Drug Court clients who are still on their own, not in jail or isolated, but even in the intact, loving, fully functioning family home these addicts have about a 50 – 50 chance of relapse to chemical use.

    Oh and by the way, this experiment is not scientifically valid and there is no matching studies.

  17. Karim Benzema Avatar

    this is BEAUTIFUL !

    who the FUCK downvoted this ?!

    as Awesome as it gets , BRILLIANTLY DILLIGENT !

  18. hagbard72 Avatar

    I always knew that I was an addict not because of genetics. I truly believe it's a learned behaviour not a disease. My nephew has a disease of which he has no choice. I have a choice. Thanks for the vid.

  19. Auris2 Avatar

    If this video is based of off chasing the scream ( I listened to the whole thing, found your video afterwards) can you provide any sources or studies that verify the claims made in the book? Maybe you did your own research into the subject as well? I was thoroughly shocked and convinced by the book but recently found out that the author does not take fact checking seriously, and has made assertions which were completely fabricated for effect in the recent past (maybe his book as well).

  20. Leo Thomas Avatar

    Thanks you for the video. What software did you use to create it?

  21. Teresa Steele Avatar

    Stands to reason, if you are surrounded by loving and caring people you have more chance to survive addiction.  There are many reasons why people don't have a support network, not always of their doing, we must remember that before we judge.

  22. bananian Avatar

    sweet, i can do crystal meth to enhance my performance at work then since i have a happy childhood so i won't get addicted to anything!

  23. Judy Z Avatar

    Goes a long way to showing that we are a social people.

  24. C Cartoons Avatar

    loved this video

  25. Gurvinder Singh Avatar

    Very impressive and an eye opener. Thank you for sharing. Declaring anything as illegal gives certain people and institutions tremendous power, influence and of course the opportunity to earn lots of illicit money.

    It requires leaders with vision and commitment than a politician to let go this lever of power over people and resources. Thankfully more and more people are emerging that will make a positive difference.

    The example of Portugal is there for all to see

  26. Lisa Vunk Avatar

    Agreed…excellent video!!!

  27. Sabrina Bridge Avatar

    The first experiment (rat in empty cage) was actually conducted in the 1930s, not the 1970s.

  28. Some Curiosities Avatar

    Is this channel dead..?

  29. droop1993 Avatar

    as an addict myself I'd say this should be obvious, but so should many other things…

  30. Rat Park Foundation Avatar

    We started a non-proft to help people who are struggling with addiction inspired by the rat park experiment. Please check us out:

  31. Jack Glaser Avatar

    Why doesn't this channel have more subscribers?! The artists in every video bring a different style that lends itself to the story very well. Keep up the education and don't fall pray to interjecting politics into it unless you show both sides. Be the fair news we need!

  32. Albert Schafer Avatar

    As a mental health professional I agree with this paradigm. In addition it also supports Bob Trask who has with great insight is able to identity how our decision making habits contribute to increased anxiety that feeds avoidance behaviors. Google ARAS + Trask Three years ago I determined that Resilience is our ability to maintain secure thoughts in the face of a crisis over fearful thoughts. If our outer environment is rude, crude, and indifferent enough, those fearful thoughts can be very different to avoid.

  33. Sidenotez Avatar

    i agree with this – but – why didn't you draw any black people – the effect the war on drugs has on black people is parallel to none

  34. Elijah Caon Avatar

    I'm an addict. I need to change my rat park.

  35. Andrew Baschoff Avatar

    Great educational video– simple, explanatory, engaging, and to the points. Perhaps you could share this with educational programs. As someone mentioned below, PBS or NPR may be a good start.

  36. Reason Avatar

    Has this experiment been validated? what's the most recent recreation of this experiment?

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