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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Why We’re a Culture of Addicts

[Waking Times]: If there’s one constant among addicts of all types, it’s shame. It’s what makes us lie and hide. It’s what keeps us from asking for help – though we don’t think we need it because we’re also good at lying to ourselves.

About why we eat. Or shop. Or gamble. Or drink.

Dr. Gabor Maté knows the feeling well. Maté, a renowned doctor, speaker, and author, has seen it in the heroin-addicted men and women he treats in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

He sees it in the behavior of well-respected workaholics. The cosmetic surgery junkies. The power seekers. The ‘I Brake for Garage Sales’ shoppers.

He’s seen it in the mirror.

Maté, author of the groundbreaking book In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, believes shame is behind our unwindable ‘war on drugs.’ Our ‘tough on crime’ policies. Our judgment of addicts. Our marginalization of street junkies.

Maté knows, as so many of our spiritual teachers have tried to teach us, that our judgments of others are really all about us.

Maté, who serves as resident doctor at The Portland Hotel, a Vancouver housing project for adults coping with mental illness, addiction, and other challenges, saw himself in the stories of the women and men who, day after day, came to see him for treatment and who slowly, over years, revealed to him their pain.

Those of us still hiding and denying? Gabor Maté sees us too....read more>>>...

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