249: Dr. Gabor Mate´ - Re-Release

This week we talk to Dr. Gabor Mate´ about addiction

A renowned speaker, and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development.

For twelve years Dr. Maté worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site.

As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with AddictionWhen the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress; and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, and co-authored Hold on to Your Kids. His works have been published internationally in twenty languages.

Dr. Maté is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction, a new non-profit that focusses on addiction. He is also an advisor of Drugs over Dinner.

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, Simon Fraser University.


In This Interview, Dr. Gabor Mate´ and I Discuss...


  • The One You Feed parable
  • The degree of choice we have in life
  • What is the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts?
  • What is addiction?
  • The characteristics of addiction
  • Recognizing what addicts get out of their addiction
  • The fundamental question is not “Why the Addiction” but “Why the Pain”
  • How all addiction comes out of some hurt or trauma
  • The different types of trauma
  • The role of neurotransmitters in addiction
  • How drugs and alcohol destroy the parts of the brain that allow us to make sound decisions
  • Whether or not genetics play a significant role in addiction
  • Whether our culture breeds addiction
  • How our children get most of their leadership from other children
  • How the breakup of family, community and clan is contributing to addiction
  • The critical role of the culture in our the development of our brains
  • Recognizing our inherent value
  • To what degree we have freedom over our choices
  • Without consciousness, there is no freedom
  • Paths to recovery
  • How compassion can help with recovery
  • Developing compassionate curiosity towards ourselves

Dr. Gabor Mate´ Links


TED Talk