Rats are Rehab Experts.
Did you know that, given the right opportunity, rats will wean themselves off of morphine?
Yep. All by themselves. No drugs to help with withdrawal, with free access to the morphine – they’ll still just…stop using the drugs.
So what are those right conditions? So glad you asked – because that’s what this week’s project is all about.
This week we’re using flow painting to create memory boxes to help battle addiction.
Why on earth would painting a box help people suffering from addiction?
Because those rats taught us a lesson – a lesson that all you need to kick a drug habit is…a thriving community. Yep. That’s it. In the famous “Rat Park” study, scientists found that addicted rats will, on their own, wean themselves off the drug – as long as they are put into a strong rat community.
It’s time for us to make that community for people.
These memory boxes are used to store treasures, reminders, helpers for people going through substance abuse rehab – and they are, in themselves, reminders of the bigger community around the world that stands together to help people in need. Pretty rad, right? These are powerful, full of hope and strength – and they’re super fun to make. Keep reading to find out how.
Note: Some of these links include affiliate links, which means you won’t pay any more but will support Aina just by clicking!
- Hinged Wooden Box
- Acrylic Paint – We Used: Spice Tan, Royal Blue, Baby Blue, Charcoal, Sea Foam, and Pure Gold
- Mod Podge
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Plastic Cups
- Spreading Knife
- Paper Plates
- Silver Glitter[/one_half_last]
Mix your paint: Put dollops of each paint color in your cups, then add roughly 30% of your chosen pouring medium (we used mod podge). Mix until fully combined. Add water a little bit at a time with the syringe until it will build up on your popsicle stick when you lift it up but flows off nicely – think the consistency of honey (here is a great video that explains the process)
Add a squirt of the silicone with the syringe and mix gently. This will give you the bigger bubbles – if you want smaller bubbles, mix it more vigorously (this will break up the oil of the silicone into small droplets in the paint)
Pour! Time to pour those paints on. I poured in this pattern, one stripe down in each color. Check out our video to see how to pour and swipe.
Pour the Rivera Tan around the top and left edges.
Swipe with your spreading knife. This is where you get the actual design of the painting – since this one is ocean-themed, we did wavy swipes.
Open your box and let it dry (if you leave it closed it will glue together with the mod podge). If you want more bubbles (or just want an excuse to buy a kitchen torch), you can lightly torch the top of your painting and more bubbles will come up.
The Herren Project
1061 Fish Rd.
Tiverton, RI 02878
Did you know that opioids now kill more people each year than breast cancer? Neither did we. We also discovered that 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2014 – and that the war on drugs has so far cost America 1 Trillion US Dollars. Given that our friendly rats have shown us a clear path – why don’t we all band together and take it?
The Herren Project is an Aina-Approved (i.e. amazing) nonprofit that develops and sponsors initiatives to prevent and navigate the disease of addiction. Started by former NBA player Chris Herren, this organization focuses on three specific areas of building that community to help: treatment navigation, education and mentoring. Your memory box is given to individuals and families of individuals that are going through substance abuse rehab – and to families that have lost a loved one to addiction. Go to The Herren Project’s website to get more information about what they do and how you can help!
We have completely fallen in love with flow painting with these projects – and we hope you love them too. Remember to share your creations with us on Instagram by tagging us @ainagiving and using #ChangeCrafters!
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Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a female-led company that transforms women into world changers. Join the movement of DIY World Change and get our accredited projects, leadership coaching, and nonprofit consulting – email us and tell us how you want to change the world. We’ll help you get there.