Daniel was a fantastic reader... loved his voice and engagement
Despite getting bogged down in the first 10 chapters; which were good, but did go on quite a long time, I found the book both picked up and became more relevant at about Chapter 10 when Gabor Mate includes himself. His inclusion of himself brings in a courageous vulnerability to the already vulnerable lives he shares . At this marker, he begins weaving together the initial stories, his own story, successes, failures, policies and ways to consider addiction. In the end, I feel like his breadth, depth and scope of addressing addiction and considering humanizing policies and treatment makes this book a must read. I would like to think in the future we could create more liberal, comprehensive, less stigmatizing and healing treatment options for addiction in the US.
As someone new to the medical field, I found myself working every day in hospital wards filled disproportionately with people in the grips of addiction, which is comorbid with, and predisposes to, conditions as diverse as depression, ADD, HIV, cancer, and disastrous bacterial infections. I saw how strong the tendency is for health care workers to get angry at these patients, judge them, dismiss them, give up on them. This book helped me open my heart more to these difficult patients by explaining the epidemiology and brain science behind addiction. I think understanding the sources and experience of addiction better can help anyone work with their own addictions or those of another with greater clarity and compassion. Strongly recommended for physicians, nurses, medical students, and other practitioners and trainees in any medical field.
K. L. Jackson
If you are only going to listen to one audiobook on addiction, this is the one I would recommend. The scientific information on the addictive process and brain chemistry is accurate, up-to-date, and explained in a very clear manner without being "dumbed-down." The author, a physician who works with addicts, alternates between stories of the individuals with whom he works and the brain science information, in a way that enhances the educational aspect of the book. The narrator, the author's son, has a pleasant voice that is easy to listen to. I found myself wanting to listen to this one hour after another, which I wouldn't have expected from a book dealing with such an intense subject. I will probably purchase the print version so that I can refer to the information about the brain science, but I'm glad I listened to it first, because I was able to absorb the information in an entertaining manner. I would recommend this book to anyone, even those who think they already know a lot about the subject. There's a lot of misinformation out there about this subject, and this author really knows his stuff.
It's not the entirety of the book by any means, but the author has a couple of addictions of his own, both of them of behaviors rather than substances, and his description of them (one of them extremely specific) are relentlessly honest, perceptive, and thorough. He goes into how they affect his life, particularly his dealings with other people, as well as what very likely produced them, and in so doing illuminates the nature of addiction generally in a way that is extremely relatable, often squirmily so!
I am a inspirational/motivational book reader, mixed with sci-fi. ya a little bit of fact and fiction.
There is so much more to this story that you can take in.
so many WOWs
I was already interested in the influence of epigentics... Now, I am obsessed! Not just a book about addiction, but also about the social sciences as we understand and misunderstand them.
If you are an addict, live with one, or work with them, you need this book. Shatters the traditional view of addict as loser and identifies the addict in all of us.
Dr. Mate' has provided the validation of my personal theories as I have battled addiction for my entire life. Always seeking understanding I have found peace within Mate's books. Thank you so very much. Namaste'