According to a recent study, the presence of positive social stimulus reduces interest in cocaine use in mice. Analysis of research shows that social support is a crucial tool in the prevention, treatment, and recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

The Study

The study examined whether mice preferred the administration of cocaine or saline. After four days of observation, they found that the mice preferred spending more time in the section where the drug was present. Scientists then proposed the addition of a juvenile mouse to the saline section. Knowing that this would be a highly positive stimulus for the mice, they sought to discover whether cocaine or mouse would be a greater motivator. They found that most of the mice preferred spending time in the presence of the juvenile mouse. Therefore, social interaction is a deterrent to drug use, as the mice preferred spending time with the other mouse over the use of the drug.

Verifying the Findings

To validate the study’s findings, they implemented the same experiment using an inanimate object as the stimulus. In this case, the researchers used a Rubik’s cube and found that the mice preferred the drug compartment, therefore proving that the social stimulus was exceedingly important. Thus, providing animals with social interaction involving another animal may lessen their preference for drug use. Similarly, humans rely on social interaction and social support to lead fulfilling lives. The absence of social support can have negative effects such as the development of drug and alcohol dependency.

Looking for Help?

Social support involves friends, family, and other interpersonal relationships. Humans rely on social support systems to engage in and enjoy life. Without these positive stimuli, negative issues, including drug use and subsequent addictions, may develop. At Fort Behavioral Health, we understand the complexities and individual journeys that lead to drug and alcohol addiction. We approach treatment by looking at the fundamental issues of the substance use disorder as a means of preparing for a long-lasting recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807.


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