Visits to the Nuclear Accumbens Fair are lots of fun. The more tokens you arrive with, the more fun can be bought. And the more fun you are having, the harder it is to call it quits and go home.
Management at the park apply economics to the ticket prices. The higher the demand for an item, the higher the price that can be charged.
If you’re visiting the park regularly, then the price goes up, since demand has risen.
Initially you only needed one token to participate in an activity. But each time you visit, things get a little more expensive – when you notice, you complain to the guy selling the tickets, he just shrugs his shoulders and mumbles about inflation.
Running short of dopamine tokens
The fact that prices keep increasing, makes it increasingly difficult to play your favourite games.
So you walk around the park looking for the cheap rides / games. You seldom win anything, most of the time the game doesn’t end in a cuddlely stuffed anything, but rather an ice cold…………caboom, splish splosh, thud.
The experience is demoralizing, humiliating, painful.
The “dark” side of the fun fair
You are experiencing the other side of being addicted.
You think it would be a good idea to leave the park, but you keep remembering the good times. The idea of just sitting at home doing nothing is more frightening than the park.
Hi – my name is John and I’m an addict
You are now addicted and experiencing what is referred to as positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement.
The promise of winning stuffed toys and enjoying the rides, keeps you at the fair. This is referred to as positive reinforcement.
You can’t stay away. Because being home alone is a chilling prospect. The “pain” of staying home, brings you back to the park. This is referred to as negative reinforcement.
You’re doomed it you do, but doomed if you don’t
The negative reinforcement keeps you coming back to the park, but you’re short of tokens so to enjoy the rides you end up making a deal “with the devil”.
You quite literally sell your soul to keep taking those rides.
Nothing else matters
- Not your family
- Not your friends
- You don’t care about your job
- You don’t care about eating
The only thing that matters is being in the park experiencing the rides………….. i.e. buying more drugs, so you have more dopamine tokens.
No one plans to get stuck in the park
It begins so innocently – a handful of tokens courtesy of one of the drugs of addiction. A little bit of “innocent” fun but for many people, they can never leave.
The chemistry keeps you trapped in the park. Addiction happens because of unbalanced body chemistry not weak willpower.
Interested in learning more about the chemistry of addiction ?
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