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The Shocking Truth of What Causes Addiction

By Sam Lawrence on Tuesday September 6th, 2016

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What is Really Behind Addiction?

Ever notice how frequently the word “addict” is used? Just do a Google News search on the word and you’ll be shocked at just how often it’s used in a headline. Articles are plastered with mentions of drug addicts, sex addicts, gambling addicts, food addicts, shopping addicts, work addicts and internet addicts. “These people” are painted as out-of-control and often menaces to society who need to be stopped, jailed, medicated or otherwise cut off.

But what if those diseased people weren’t sick at all? What if you suddenly realized you were one of them? Well, that’s what happened to me. In preparation for this podcast, I realized I’m an addict. I’m an addict who comes from other addicts, who has passed it onto my kids, too. I’m constantly looking for a way to not be with myself, a way to avoid the pain that I have, of not having meaningful bonds.

What if those diseased people weren’t sick at all? What if you suddenly realized you were one of them?What if those diseased people weren’t sick at all?

A Different Way of Looking at Addiction

Physician and best-selling author, Gabor Maté, shares the shocking truth about what causes addiction and the things we can do to address the problem. What’s cool about Gabor is that he avoids quick-fix thinking when he tackles things like addiction, ADHD, sickness and the human spirit overall. Rather, he shines lights on the often uncomfortable truths that live at the root of these things.

Born in Hungary, Gabor survived the Holocaust, became a doctor and worked for over 20 years with patients with hard-core drug addictions, mental illness and HIV before writing In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, When the Body Says No, Scattered Minds, and Hold on to Your Kids (you can learn more on his website drgabormate.com).

Gabor avoids quick-fix thinking when he tackles things like addiction, ADHD, sickness and the human spirit overall.Gabor avoids quick-fixes when tackling addiction, ADHD, sickness and the human spirit overall.

Our brief but information-packed conversation even helped me understand why I love podcasting. These conversations  are sort of accelerated intimacy that create quick bonds with each person I talk to and anything that helps me bond, lessens the painful void I have from having that very thing growing up.

I remember hearing somewhere that the purpose of life is to create meaningful connections with others. After this conversation with Gabor, I know you’ll have a new point of view of exactly why that’s so important and how and why we as individuals, families and cultures have strayed so far from it.

Addiction Specialist Dr Gabor Mate.

 

Read More:

The Opposite Of Addiction is Connection

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Words By Sam Lawrence

Originally posted on Grow Big Always

 

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16 Comments on "The Shocking Truth of What Causes Addiction"

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Jo McKernan
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Jo McKernan

Dr Mate is brilliant! I just finished reading In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts a few days ago and found it to be deeply moving, comprehensive and quite enlightening. We truly need to move past the old broken meme of “the war on drugs” (which is really a war on addicts) and embrace more compassionate humane methods of treatment and take a lesson from Portugal if we want to help people heal. Thank you for being part of this important conversation! 🙂

dowsergirl
Guest
dowsergirl

Hi Jo, What are they doing in Portugal??

Jo McKernan
Guest
Jo McKernan

Hi Dowsergirl, the best way for your question to be answered would be for you to watch the video; “The Root Cause of Addiction” also on Uplift Connect-see sidebar-as it explains the Portugal model. Very heartwarming and inspiring!

dowsergirl
Guest
dowsergirl

Sam, this was great! So glad you shared.

Laurie Vogler Jordan
Guest
Laurie Vogler Jordan

this guy is amazing!

Alice Ihde
Guest
Alice Ihde

Brilliant!

Todd Wolfenberg
Guest

Thank you…there are no worlds to express my emotions ! May all human neings hear and understand what he says ?

Peter Joseph
Guest
Peter Joseph
A lot of people think of addicts as people who have contracted this “affliction” as a result of careless or stupid behaviour, where as many addicts ( it’s morphine, in my case ) became addicted to the prescription medicine they were taking at the time. I’m on 150mg of morphine every day – enough to kill a person with no tolerance, & yet, ii’m still treated like a social pariah. Also, if I find myself in a town or city other than my home,even doctors treat me like a junkie criminal who’s trying to obtain this medication through false pretences… Read more »
Jeff Noble
Guest
Jeff Noble

You are right. I was an addict who put 90 mgs of morphine in my morning coffee for 13 years. I worked, I kept my job, I loved my wife and daughter and I functioned like that for a long time. I didn’t need it for physical pain. I used to it to escape mental and emotional pain. I now face that pain each day with no crutch and it hurts. I have no friends to share this with and it’s very difficult, but I’m getting there.

Gabzy Cocoeaux
Guest
Gabzy Cocoeaux

your story gives me strength…..addiction took my life once, it is a problem……i see no reak relief fron it’s thorns …..it has weakened my grip on a reality that most civillians experience……it is a dead end…..it’s all i can do to remain honest…addiction has it’s grip on my life….i feel you….in a big way…

janeasinner
Guest
janeasinner
I disagree with his ‘theory’ that addiction is caused by child abuse. I was never abused as a child. i had a very loving home and extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles etc). I was very loved my whole life. I have a wonderful sister and brother. So I disprove this child abuse addiction theory. How narrow minded this thinking is. I have physical pain. I hurt every single day of my life, and I’ve been this way ever since I can remember. (age 4). I am not insecure, I am not feeling ‘unloved’, I an not needy, or wanty or… Read more »
Rachel R
Guest
Rachel R

He might not have touched on your problem because yours isn’t an issue of mental or emotional pain or you could be in denial. It could simply be physical pain however, you took something for that pain and became dependent. If it makes you feel good emotionally then there are reasons for that which you may have not explored. Growing up with physical pain can affect you emotionally believe it or not. If it has affected the way you live your life, no amount of love can fill that void and no amount of morphine will change that.

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