In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

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North Atlantic Books, 2010 - Political Science - 495 pages

Based on Gabor Maté's two decades of experience as a medical doctor and his groundbreaking work with the severely addicted on Vancouver's skid row, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts radically reenvisions this much misunderstood field by taking a holistic approach. Dr. Maté presents addiction not as a discrete phenomenon confined to an unfortunate or weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs throughout (and perhaps underpins) our society; not a medical "condition" distinct from the lives it affects, rather the result of a complex interplay among personal history, emotional, and neurological development, brain chemistry, and the drugs (and behaviors) of addiction. Simplifying a wide array of brain and addiction research findings from around the globe, the book avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting a thorough and compassionate self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts argues persuasively against contemporary health, social, and criminal justice policies toward addiction and those impacted by it. The mix of personal stories--including the author's candid discussion of his own "high-status" addictive tendencies--and science with positive solutions makes the book equally useful for lay readers and professionals.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

There is both good and bad to report about this book. First, the best of the good: I highly recommend this book along with Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, to get a thorough reexamination of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - revslick - LibraryThing

Intimate and engaging book exploring Mate's personal search, exploration, and medical cases in the field of addiction. If you've never read one of these, then this would rate at least a 4; however, I ... Read full review

Contents

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About the author (2010)

Gabor Maté, MD, is a physician, author, seminar leader, and acclaimed public speaker. His bestselling books include Scattered, When the Body Says No, and Hold onto Your Kids. A former medical columnist for The Vancouver Sun and The Globe and Mail, he lives in Vancouver, BC.

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