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The Seven Myths of Addiction – Gabor Maté

$24.00

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.

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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.


  1. Appraise the economics, cultural, psychological and neurobiological roots of addiction and addictive behaviors.
  2. Evaluate 7 common myths surrounding addiction and addictive behaviors.
  3. Investigate the role of “choice” in the development of addiction.

  • 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?

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