- Gabor Maté
- 1 Hour 2 Minutes
- Audio and Video
- Oct 16, 2020
For twelve years Dr. Maté was the staff physician at a clinic for drug-addicted people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, where he worked with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness, and HIV, including at Vancouver Supervised Injection Site.
In his recent bestselling book In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts, he draws on cutting-edge science to illuminate where and how addictions originate and what they have in common. Contrary to what is often claimed, the source of addictions is not to be found in genes, but in the early childhood environment where the neurobiology of the brain’s reward pathways develops and where the emotional patterns that lead to addiction are wired into the unconscious. Stress, both then and later in life, creates the predisposition for addictions, whether to drugs, alcohol, nicotine or to behavioral addictions such as shopping or sex. Helping the addicted individual requires that we appreciate the function of the addiction in his or her life.
Once we recognize the roots of addiction and the lack it strives (in vain) to fill, we can develop a compassionate approach toward the addict, one that stands the best chance of restoring him or her to wholeness and health.
- What is the source of addictions?
- What happens chemically and physiologically in the brains of people with substance dependency or behaviour addiction?
- The false “blessings” of addiction as experienced by the addict (e.g., as emotional anaesthetic, as personality booster, as social lubricant)
- The development of the addicted mind: how early childhood experiences shape the brain
- The social basis of addiction in economic, cultural and political dislocation and disempowerment
- How much choice does the addict really have, and how much responsibility?
Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Criminology
Simon Fraser University
Gabor Maté MD, is a renowned speaker, and bestselling author. Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development.
As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction; When the Body Says No; The Cost of Hidden Stress; and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, and co-authored Hold on to Your Kids.
Dr. Maté is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction, a new non-profit that focuses on addiction. He is also an advisor of Drugs over Dinner.
An adjunct professor in the Faculty of Simon Fraser University, Dr. Maté has received the Hubert Evans Prize for Literacy Non-Fiction; an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University, and the 2012 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Mothers Against Teen Violence.
Financial: Dr. Gabor Maté is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction. He is an author for Knopf/Random House; Penguin/Putnam; Knopf Canada; Wiley; and Random House and receives royalties. Dr. Maté receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Dr. Gabor Maté has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.