- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Canada; UK ed. edition (January 6, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0676977413
- ISBN-13: 978-0676977417
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 474 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction UK ed. Edition
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He would probably dispute it, but Gabor Maté is something of a compassion machine. Diligently treating the drug addicts of Vancouver's notorious Downtown Eastside with sympathy in his heart and legislative reform in mind can't be easy. But Maté never judges. His book is a powerful call-to-arms, both for the decriminalization of drugs and for a more sympathetic and informed view of addiction. As Maté observes, "Those whom we dismiss as 'junkies' are not creatures from a different world, only men and women mired at the extreme end of a continuum on which, here or there, all of us might well locate ourselves." In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts begins by introducing us to many of Dr. Maté's most dire patients who steal, cheat, sell sex, and otherwise harm themselves for their next hit. Maté looks to the root causes of addiction, applying a clinical and psychological view to the physical manifestation and offering some enlightening answers for why people inflict such c! atastrophe on themselves.Finally, he takes aim at the hugely ineffectual, largely U.S.-led War on Drugs (and its worldwide followers), challenging the wisdom of fighting drugs instead of aiding the addicts, and showing how controversial measures such as safe injection sites are measurably more successful at reducing drug-related crime and the spread of disease than anything most major governments have going. It's not easy reading, but we ignore his arguments at our peril. When it comes to combating the drug trade and the ravages of addiction, society can use all the help it can get. --Kim Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A harrowingly honest, compassionate, sometimes angry look at addiction and the people whose lives have been disordered by it."
"Maté does a great service by forcing us to confront the us-and-them mentality that drives the get-tough responses to addiction.... I highly recommend Hungry Ghosts to everyone seeking insight into addiction."
—The Vancouver Sun
"Excellent.... One of the book's strengths is Maté's detailed and compassionate characterization of the afflicted addicts he treats, but this is not just a memoir. Rather, using his own experience as well as the most advanced recent research, he attempts to delineate the closely interrelated psychological, social, and neurological dimensions of addiction.... A calm, unjudging, compassionate attentiveness to what is happening within."
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This book brings to light a new way for me to view and think of addicts. It takes a new look at how we view addiction wrongly, as a medical problem and addresses some of the why's one may become an addict, ranging from early childhood emptiness, abuse, and so on. He backs up his claims with scientific evidence, research and the personal narratives of many addicts. I found the book to be a refreshing take on addiction and one that is quite insightful. It is well written, and was able to capture my full attention. I'd recommend it to all, but especially those who battle addiction, of any kind, whether it be drugs, alcohol, sex, work, wealth and so on; in addition, the many whom are casualties of loving and addict, be it spouse, child, family or friends.
There is no "brain disease" that causes people to become addicts, despite the claims from current model of addiction treatment. Every addict or alcoholic uses drugs or alcohol to fill a void inside themselves and recovery is only possible using a mind/spirit approach.
Love truly IS the answer for us all, as you will learn while absorbing the brilliant information in this book.
Though his focus is on drug addiction he gives insight to any kind of addiction. Explains many cases he has dealt with over a 30 year period. Explains difference between physical and emotional addiction. Offers great insight to helping non drug users understand those they love that do use illegal drugs. This would be a good book even for the illegal drug user to read as well.