To complement the free chapter on addictive behaviour you can give your students a taste of addictive behaviour with this simple – and harmless – simulation.
This was originally created by Todd Campbell (Texas A & M University) and the instructions here are filtered through the work of Linda Walsh (University of Northern Iowa)
The basic purpose of the simulation is to give students a personal insight into addictive behaviour through the experience of being “addicted”.
You can run the sim over whatever period you like, but 48-hours is a suggested minimum because this will include class time, time at home and time spent socialising. This gives a good spread of situations and encounters that need to be managed.
Inform the students they have developed an addiction to a new designer drug: “EySKuBe” – known as “Ice” on The Street (possibly because it’s actually just frozen water). Where they once used to just dabble in the softer types of water they now need the harder stuff.
The simulation involves following these rules:
As an additional complication (and possible talking point at parties…) you can ramp the simulation up a notch by the requirement that their EySKuBe must be tinted – they can only consume a drink that contains say, red, blue or green EySKuBe. This is because with a real illegal addiction the drug wouldn’t be available everywhere – you’d have to either find a dealer or make your own Luckily you’ve probably already set-up your own home-brew lab (sometimes called a refrigerator). It should be relatively easy to hide the fact you’re making plain ‘SKuBe from inquisitive eyes, but it will be more difficult to hide tinted ‘SKuBe.
If any non-addict discovers or questions you about what you’re doing, you’re busted. Your addiction is revealed and your immediate future is either rehab or jail…
a. Each student in the simulation can be a dealer as well as a user
b. A certain percentage of the class are designated as “dealers” – you can only buy EySKuBe from them.
Any EySKuBe dealing must be discreet. If any non-addict sees or questions what you’re doing you’re both busted.
Being busted doesn’t end the sim. Just start over but record the fact you were caught in your log (see below)
When do you expect to get your next dose of EySKuBe?
How will you obtain the EySKuBe you need?
Any difficulties, feelings, reactions you are experiencing.
Anything you think may be relevant to the sim.
The log simulates the obsession, involvement and regular attention common to many addictions. Preoccupation with the abused substance can seep into every waking hour. You may not be experiencing the intense withdrawal symptoms of addicts but keeping a log forces you to think about your drug every waking hour of the day.
In what ways, if any, did your experiences / behaviour seem like those of an addict?
If you ran out of money or couldn’t make / consume your hourly craving what would you have done to ensure you got your fix?
How many times, if any, were you busted during the sim? If you were repeatedly busted what might have been the consequences “in real life”?
How did you like having to alter many of your daily activities to accommodate your addition?
What was the hardest part of the simulation?
Given that real psychoactive substances could not be used, are there other things that would make the simulation more realistic and effective?