In the '50s and 60's, many studies were carried out on mice that set the basis for understanding addiction. The studies were rather straightforward. They just put a mouse in a cage, and in that cage, they put food and some liquid in two troughs. The first trough contained plain water. The second one contained water with some addictive substance, mainly drugs like heroin, morphine etc. The results of the studies were clear, because in all cases, the mice systematically consumed so much of the water that contained the addictive substance that they often died of starvation. Namely they preferred the drug over the food. In fact, a lot of mice became very persistent in the consumption of the drug, which made researchers believe that drugs were invincible. Seeing the social impact of the drugs of that time, it wasn't hard to conclude that drugs are really powerful substances that control our brain and make us seek them out as though we had nothing better to do. However, in the late '70s, new studies based on these were published, with a big difference. The cage did not only contain the mouse, its food and the drugs, but it contained other things too. In fact, the researchers created an amusement park for mice. They put toys, warm spots, the mouse's family, a variety of foods in there, and they generally did their best to offer that mouse the most normal and happiest life possible. That mouse permanently lived with its family and friends in a wonderful amusement park. In a corner, not very farm from its trough and food, they placed a trough that contained water with addictive substances. It contained water with drugs. The experiment was the same. Mouse, food, drugs. What changed, though, was the environment. The mouse wasn't sitting in a lonely cage with no social contacts, but it was living with other mice that it loved and cared for and among toys that could keep it happy. Can you guess what happened? The mouse discovered the trough that contained the drugs in all the experiments. But it did not visit it often. In fact, in almost all the experiments, it rarely visited it. It seems that it didn't feel the need to visit the trough with the drugs when its life was full. I'm sure you've heard that sweets work in our brain like drugs do. The same goes for junk food. Souvlaki, pizza, delivery foods, puff pastry. All these work like drugs in our brain. Are you connecting the dots? What cage do you return to after work? Thank you!

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