In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, by Gabor Mate, M.D., is a book that I recommend to my clients or to those that are concerned for family members or friends that have alcohol and/or drug problems. These problems are commonly referred to as “alcoholism” and/or “drug addiction.” Mental health care professionals refer to these issues collectively as “Substance Dependence.”
The book is compassionately written by Mate, a family physician with twelve years experience working with patients with substance dependence and other mental health issues in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
The book begins with real-life accounts of homeless people with long-term alcohol and drug problems.
In later sections of the book, Mate illustrates how the substance dependence problems his patients struggle with are not that different from the substance dependence problems of society’s more fortunate.
Mate combines case histories with scientific findings and his own insights to propose approaches to understanding and helping people with substance dependence problems for all sectors of society.
Dr. Patricia Turner, Registered Psychologist, Calgary, Alberta
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