Taming The Hungry Ghost: A Biospychosocial Perspective on Addiction, from Heroin to Workaholism
Dr. Gabor Maté will be discussing his work in addictions with the UBC Learning Circle as part of our Addictions Series (Part 4) for 2015.
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 most recent bestselling book In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts, he shows that their addictions do not represent a discrete set of medical disorders; rather, they merely reflect the extreme end of a continuum of addiction, mostly hidden, that runs throughout our society. In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts 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 the 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 behavioural addictions such as shopping or sex.
Helping the addicted individual requires that we appreciate the function of the addiction in his or her life. More than a disease, the addiction is a response to a distressing life history and life situation. 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.
All are welcome to attend and participate in this FREE live videoconference and computer webinar session.
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015
Time: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Participate live via videoconference OR computer webinar. Click here to read more about the difference between webinar and videoconference.
Registration: This session is full.
- 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, and so on)
- 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?
- Developing a therapeutic relationship in which healing is possible
- How to encourage the addict to take responsibility
- The prevention of addiction, both in adolescence and before
About the Presenter
A renowned speaker and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics, from addiction to mind-body wellness. Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them. As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. His works have been published internationally in twenty languages.
Dr. Maté has received the Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction; an Honorary Degree (Law) from the University of Northern British Columbia; an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University; and the 2012 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Mothers Against Teen Violence. He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Criminology, SFU.
Download Presentation Handout: February 5th Dr. Gabor Mate – GHOSTS Handout
Resources and Links from Session: