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In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction (2008)

by Gabor Mate M.D.

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5863431,498 (4.3)3
"...This insightful book explores the scientific and psychological causes of addiction, as well as the impact on the addicts treated at the Downtown Eastside Vancouver clinic where Mate is a physician. He widens the lens to address the larger societal problem--speaking also to the risks of more "high-status" addictions, such as wealth, power, and sex. He boldly challenges the War on Drugs, proposing a more holistic, constructive set of alternatives. A riveting, debate-provoking book about an illness that reaches all levels of society, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts provides a much-needed glimpse of hope from an innovator who is taking on addiction with startling clarity, vision, and wisdom"--Cover, p. 4.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
This is the second book by Gabor Maté I've read. The first was about stress and the immune system. He has a way of using himself as a very human example of his subject so that the people he tries to help are human too, before they are seen as "cases"
This is not a self-help book for anyone in the depths of addiction but a plea to all of us to realise we're probably all on a spectrum of addiction. A plea for compassion in our lives and in government policy.
Recommended. ( )
  Phil-James | Oct 1, 2021 |
I liked the first part of the book the best and then it seemed to become more about the authors belief in the decriminalization of drugs and then the author throws in some philosophy ad well quoting Jesus, Buddha and others. It would have been a better book if he had told more about his experience at Downtown Eastside ( )
  Jeff_Simms | Jun 9, 2021 |
I was really glad to chose this book from Audible last year. I have once had a discussion with a good friend about "addictive personality" and this book was promising to explain what it all was about. I found out that I too have it, and how we grow to become addicted to something.
My addiction to buying books/yarn/fabrics is not very different from the addiction to drugs I found out, and the author, who is also an addicted himself (his drug of choice is classical music CDs) practically demolishes the belief that addictions are originated by chemical imbalances, genetics, or bad choices, and shows that after all it is our society, by depriving depriving human beings of what they need to thrive, that causes addiction, to then then persecute and punish these people when they turn to drugs to relieve their pain.
Dr. Mate' has a new fan in me now, and I look forward to reading more from him on the topics of ADD and the ties between stress and illness in our modern society. ( )
  MissYowlYY | Jun 12, 2020 |
An excellent book that challenged my view of addiction. ( )
  donbarger | Mar 27, 2020 |
It would be a far more compassionate world if everyone read this book. Everyone can benefit from it. ( )
  jasoncomely | Jun 26, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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"...This insightful book explores the scientific and psychological causes of addiction, as well as the impact on the addicts treated at the Downtown Eastside Vancouver clinic where Mate is a physician. He widens the lens to address the larger societal problem--speaking also to the risks of more "high-status" addictions, such as wealth, power, and sex. He boldly challenges the War on Drugs, proposing a more holistic, constructive set of alternatives. A riveting, debate-provoking book about an illness that reaches all levels of society, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts provides a much-needed glimpse of hope from an innovator who is taking on addiction with startling clarity, vision, and wisdom"--Cover, p. 4.

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