Close Encounters with Addiction
A groundbreaking work on the root causes of addiction – and how to heal it – from the legendary Dr Gabor Maté
To heal addiction, you have to go back to the start…
Featured on Russell Brand’s podcast Under the Skin
Dr Gabor Maté is one of the world’s most revered thinkers on the psychology of addiction. His radical findings – based on decades of work with patients challenged by catastrophic drug addiction and mental illness – are reframing how we view all human development.
In this award-winning modern classic, Gabor Maté takes a holistic and compassionate approach to addiction, whether to alcohol, drugs, sex, money or anything self-destructive. He presents it not as a discrete phenomenon confined to a weak-willed few, but as a continuum that runs through (and even underpins) our society; not as a medical ‘condition’, but rather the result of a complex interplay of personal history, emotional development and brain chemistry.
Distilling cutting-edge research from around the world, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts avoids glib self-help remedies, instead promoting self-understanding as the first key to healing and wellness. Blending personal stories and science with positive solutions, and written in spellbinding prose, it is a must-read that will change how you see yourself, others and the world.
10th anniversary edition, updated with new chapter on the Opiod crisis
“Gabor Maté’s connections—between the intensely personal and the global, the spiritual and the medical, the psychological and the political—are bold, wise and deeply moral. He is a healer to be cherished and this exciting book arrives at just the right time”
Naomi Klein, author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine
“Gabor Maté is one of the most important, wise and compassionate voices in the world on addiction. Everyone should read this profound book”
Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
“I recommend this wonderful book for anyone struggling with the heartache of addiction personally or professionally. Gabor Maté makes the thought-provoking and powerful arguments that human connections heal; and that the poverty of relationships in the modern world contribute to our vulnerability to unhealthy addictions of all manner. His uniquely humane perspective—all too absent from much of the ‘modern’ approach to addictions—should be a part of the training of all therapists, social workers, and physicians”
Bruce Perry, MD, PhD, Child Trauma Academy Houston, and co-author of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog
“With unparalleled sympathy for the human condition, Gabor Maté depicts the suffocation of the spirit by addictive urges, and holds up a dark mirror to our society. This is a powerful narrative of the realm of human nature where confused and conflicted emotions underlie our pretensions to rational thought”
Dr Jaak Panksepp, author of Affective Neuroscience
“In its sheer force, originality and deep scholarship, this book represents a landmark in the theory, treatment and prevention of addictive disorders. No-one seriously interested in this subject can afford not to be aware of what it says about addiction and how we should respond to it”
Nick Heather PhD, Northumbria University, UK
“An insightful, multilayered discussion of the nature of addiction generally, and our society’s epidemic of addictions in particular”
Globe and Mail