Gabor Maté

“To expect an addict to give up her drug is like asking the average person to imagine living without all her social skills, support networks, emotional stability and sense of physical and psychological comfort. Those are the qualities that, in their illusory and evanescent way, drugs give the addict. People like Serena and Celia and the others whose portraits have appeared in this book perceive their drugs as their “rock and salvation.”

Thus, for all the valid reasons we have for wanting the addict to “just say no,” we first need to offer her something to which she can say “yes.” We must provide an island of relief. We have to demonstrate that esteem, acceptance, love and humane interaction are realities in this world, contrary to what she, the addict, has learned all her life. It is impossible to create that island for people unless they can feel secure that their substance dependency will be satisfied as long as they need it.”


Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
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In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Maté
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